Center for STEM Education

The Texas Regional Collaboratives is a program of The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for STEM Education. The Center provides support for, and fosters collaboration among, researchers interested in conducting externally-funded interdisciplinary research on STEM teaching and learning, the conditions that influence it, and innovations that can maximize it. The Center for STEM Education also provides professional development for STEM teachers in Texas schools. For more information, visit http://stemcenter.utexas.edu/.

The TRC has enjoyed support from a wide range of collaborators and funders including the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Education Agency, the National Science Foundation, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and a number of corporate and foundation partners and contributors including Shell, AT&T Foundation, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Fluor, IBM, Oracle, National Instruments, and others.  In addition, over fifty business and community partners support activities of the Collaboratives at the regional level.

 

State and Federal Collaborators

 

Texas Education Agency (TEA)

Texas Education Agency

For 24 years, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has invested in the Texas Regional Collaboratives (TRC) for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching to develop, design, and implement research-based professional development programs for teachers across the state of Texas. To date, TEA has enabled over 46,000 teachers of science and math to access high quality STEM professional development and improve instruction for over 4 million Texas students.

 

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education

Since 1990, The US Department of Education in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency, has supported the TRC with Eisenhower funding, Title II teacher quality funding, and currently with the Math and Science Partnerships (MSP) funding to sustain the TRC network of over 57 P-16 partnerships that serve all 20 Education Service Centers regions of Texas.

 

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation

Starting in 1998, the National Science Foundation started funding the TRC to lay the foundation of the mentoring component of the program, scale up the number of teachers served, and build leadership capacity in schools. Through Project ESTT (Empower Science Teachers of Texas), NSF supported the development of Science Teacher Mentors (STMs) who were prepared to mentor other teachers (Cadre Members) at the campus and district levels. The current mentoring component of the TRC is modeled after Project ESTT. Currently NSF supports the TRC through Early Childhood research and professional development projects.

 

 

 

Statewide Corporate and Foundational Partners

 

Shell

Shell

Shell has been a longstanding TRC statewide corporate partner since 1996, providing annual contributions to support TRC’s professional development and mentoring activities across the State.  On February 2, 2005, Shell made its largest investment ever in an education program by awarding the TRC  $1.0 Million to scale-up its operation in Texas and establish two Regional Collaboratives prototypes in the State of Louisiana. The Shell-TRC partnership continues to focus on improving the teaching and learning of geosciences and encouraging students to pursue advanced science courses which may lead to careers in geosciences, engineering, and environmental science.

AT&T Foundation

AT&T Foundation

For over 17 years, AT&T Foundation has been a TRC statewide corporate partner that has supported TRC’s professional development and mentoring activities, honoring the teachers events, and teaching and mentoring excellence awards.  AT&T helped the TRC in the cost-sharing of the National Science Foundation funding of Project ESTT (Empower Science Teachers of Texas) which established the foundation of the TRC mentoring model.  Support from AT&T enhanced technology integration into the TRC and has helped in the development of Science and Math Teacher Mentors who were prepared to mentor other teachers at the campus and district levels.

 

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

On February 3, 2004, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (The Foundation) started  its support to the Texas Regional Collaboratives Program. Through annual contributions, the Foundation supports the TRC to strengthen statewide services and activities, and more specifically, improve the science education opportunities for Galveston teachers and students.  The Foundation also supports teaching and mentoring.

 

 

 

Project Contributors

 

Fluor

Fluor

Since 2010, Fluor has partnered with the TRC to bring engaging STEM experiences and professional development to students and teachers across Texas. Fluor has supported Family Math and Science Nights, physics teacher professional development, and the creation of videos for iTunesU that help physics teachers in Texas learn how to use the equipment, materials and apparatus outlined in the Physics TEKS in their classroom. The videos complement the Get Your Physics On instructional resources developed and distributed by the TRC. Most recently, Fluor has been the primary corporate sponsor for the Geometry in Construction professional development program.

 

IBM

IBM

In 2009, the TRC partnered with IBM to provide recommendations on the redesign of their signature web resource page for science teachers, Teachers TryScience (www.teacherstryscience.com). The TRC has continued this collaboration each year to assist in correlating Teachers TryScience lessons to the TEKS and promoting the use of the website with TRC teachers and other STEM educators across the state. IBM has also been a key supporter for the TRC Computer Science Network, one of the few programs in the state that provides professional development at no cost to computer science teachers.

 

Oracle

Oracle

Oracle Academy has served as the lead corporate partner for the Keep Calm and Java On project. Through the generous support of Oracle, Texas has become the first state in the nation to create and support statewide cohorts of classroom teachers through online coursework in Java Fundamentals and Java Programming.  Through these Oracle Academy courses taught by certified Oracle instructors, Texas teachers are becoming Java Developer certified and better qualified to teach the AP Computer Science A course.

 

National Instruments

National Instruments

National Instruments began collaborating with the TRC in 2012 to bring high quality, interactive resources for physics instruction to Texas teachers through the Ergopedia Essential Physics program. National Instruments hosted professional development for teachers at its Austin headquarters and provided a tour of their facilities and access to their engineers during the visit so that participating teachers could learn about the potential career opportunities for their students at a high tech company like National Instruments.

 

 

 

Completed Partnerships

 

El Paso Energy

El Paso

Through an El Paso-TRC partnership that lasted over 8 years, the El Paso Corporate Foundation supported the scale-up of professional development and mentoring activities, and the integration of Podcasting for distribution of online professional development content.  El Paso funding supported a podcasting pilot involving middle school science educators whose contributions resulted in lessons learned about support issues, online resources, the publishing process, and subsequent training of TRC project directors and instructional team members, and the development of a series of TRC Podcasts.  The El Paso Corporate Foundation also invested in TRC honoring the teachers events, and teaching and mentoring excellence awards.

 

Toyota USA Foundation

Toyota USA Foundation

The Toyota USA Foundation joined forces with the TRC in a partnership that lasted 7 years.  Through this partnership, Toyota supported online professional development through the JASON Academy, a nationally recognized leader in science education. Teachers selected to participate in this project were called JASON Fellows and provided outreach to other teachers in their districts. Toyota also helped the TRC to scale-up the podcasting project to include follow-up mentoring after face- to-face professional development workshops, delivery of organizational announcements, and increased cross collaborative sharing of effective practice.  The Toyota USA Foundation sponsored TRC honoring the teachers events, as well as teaching and mentoring excellence awards.