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BISD launches middle school STEM initiative

Excerpt

The following is from the April 18, 2012, edition of The Brownsville Herald. The Infinity Project was created at SMU by a team of university faculty, secondary educators, working engineers and leading researchers seeking to deliver a dynamic science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum to middle and high school students.

April 19, 2012

By GARY LONG The Brownsville Herald

The Brownsville Independent School District’s is launching a STEM magnet program for middle schools to help students get an early start on careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The district’s 11 middle school principals presented the curriculum at Tuesday night’s BISD Board of Trustees meeting, drawing congratulatory comments from board members.

The STEM Infinity Project Magnet begins with next year’s sixth-graders. The deadline to apply for admission to the program is April 27. Applications are available from fifth-grade counselors throughout the district as well as at each middle school.

Although the Infinity Project’s launch is coincidental to last week’s announcement by SpaceX that it is considering Brownsville for a commercial space launch site, the timing would seem to be perfect.

“We’re excited about the spillout effect,” Oliveira Middle School Principal Jennifer Gonzales said after outlining the program to trustees. “The flow of the curriculum is to rocketry. It’s an amazing opportunity. ... They’re going to have exciting jobs to shoot for.” . . .

Gonzales said the program is based on Infinity Project curriculum developed at Southern Methodist University, and that the level of difficulty, or rigor, is exactly what is needed to succeed at the upcoming STAARS assessment tests and in life.

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