We are at a critical juncture for improving the STEM pipeline - the gap between available high-paying careers in STEM fields is far outpacing the number of viable candidates. Through the generosity of the Texas Instruments Foundation and a committed partnership between Dallas ISD and SMU, Dallas middle school teachers and administrators have the opportunity to advance their careers, become leaders in STEM integration, and ultimately develop the next generation of STEM professionals in the classroom. This collaboration is a three-year project that has been designed for the needs of Dallas ISD teachers and administrators and is a systems-level initiative with recruitment at the school and science department level.

Outcomes of the Project

Our focus is on supporting students' success in science and STEM in school and beyond. Through this project, we focus on increasing student achievement in science, increasing student interest in STEM, and increasing students' persistence in STEM coursework.

We achieve these goals by supporting teachers' professional knowledge and skills, and supporting campus administrators' instructional leadership skills. 

Components of the Project

We focus on three main groups of people: leaders, teachers, and students.

With leaders, we focus on building their academic leadership in science skills to support teachers' professional development and organizational behaviors to support teachers and students.

For teachers, we support their development of scientific content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge focused on inquiry-based practices and aim to increase teachers' confidence and competence. 

For the students impacted by this project, we will hone in on their achievement in science, their persistence in STEM courses, and their interest in science and STEM. 


The STEM Academy for Science Teachers & Leaders was generously funded through a lead gift from the Texas Instruments Foundation. A key objective for the TI Foundation is to advance student interest and teacher development in STEM, and we look forward to working together on this project to improve the trajectory of STEM education for science educators and their students. 

The O'Donnell Foundation also supports the STEM Academy for Science Teachers & Leaders. The Foundation, started by Peter O'Donnell and his wife Edith, is one of the largest independent foundations in Dallas, and they have contributed generously to support science, math, and engineering programs among a variety of education initiatives. 

This collaboration of vested partners is committed to broadly improve educational opportunities for teachers, leaders, and students in Dallas. 


STEM Academy Provides Ongoing Coaching to Teachers & Leaders

STEM Academy Wraps Second Summer of Professional Development for DISD Teachers

STEM Academy for Science Teachers & Leaders Enters Second Year of Program

From Kayaks on the Trinity, Teachers Learn About Human Impact on North Texas Nature (KERA News)

SMU STEM Academy Launches DISD Teachers to New Heights (Dallas Innovates)

Teachers Kayak the Trinity River for Hands-on Learning (NBC 5 Video)

DISD Teachers Learn to Engage Kids in Hands-on Science at SMU STEM Academy

Simmons, RME, Caruth Partnering with DISD and Texas Instruments Foundation to Invest in STEM Teachers

Contact Us

For more information about the project or how to participate, you can contact us at STEMAcademy@smu.edu.