Texas high schools add engineering classes in bid to boost STEM education

Texas high schools are racing to add engineering courses as state universities battle to increase the low number of students pursuing degrees in math and science disciplines, reports the Dallas Morning News. At the same time, officials at the state’s engineering schools are frustrated with high dropout rates from their programs. American students aren’t pursuing careers in engineering as much as foreign students. And according to Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills scores, students are struggling most in science and math. Most efforts to add courses are recent and still forming. The State Board of Education recently approved an engineering course that would be counted as a fourth-year science credit. The Texas Education Agency and private donors also are funding the start-up of high school academies across the state with the T-STEM initiative, which aims to spur higher achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math in an effort to make students better prepared for pursuing such professions in college, therefore boosting Texas’ long-term economic success. The initiative targets first-generation and low-income students, and the schools enroll by a lottery system. Since 2006 through this year, there are 46 such academies funded across the state…

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