The Highland Park (TX) Independent School District has announced a five-year, $5.8 million grant from the Moody Foundation to overhaul the way students in the district are taught science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Awarded through the Highland Park Education Foundation, the grant will be used to create the Moody Innovation Institute, which will work to advance teacher professional development and a cross-disciplinary alignment of STEAM curricula in the district, shifting the focus from textbooks to experiential learning that engages students in collaborative, problem-solving activities. The grant also will establish the Moody Advanced Professional Studies Center (MAPS), which will enable students to participate in programs and projects alongside and mentored by experts. The funding will be spread equally across the district's schools and, in addition, will be used to promote innovative learning and integrate technology into STEAM subjects. Over the past year, district representatives have traveled to schools in and beyond Texas to study their STEAM curricula.
"We are investing in people," Highland Park ISD superintendent Tom Trigg told the Dallas Morning News. "It's not so much about equipment and facilities as it is about professional development, the curriculum, and the teaching and learning process."