Cove ISD grows STEM programs, outpaces statewide peers
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to the Leader-Press
The Texas Workforce Commission projects that STEM-related occupations will experience faster growth than non-STEM occupations over the next decade with STEM careers tending to offer higher wages. Copperas Cove High School students are outpacing their statewide peers through STEM courses, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Copperas Cove High School students learned about automated technology through a mechatronics lab system in the 2022-2023 school year.
“Meclab prepares me for technical jobs. While robots and machinery are replacing workers, it opens other opportunities for me. I’ll be the one creating and fixing robots,” CCHS 2023 graduate Trystan Brooks said. “The knowledge I’ve derived from Meclab helped me achieve a higher score on the ASVAB.”
Copperas Cove High School implemented 3D computers into its health sciences courses this school year for classes like anatomy and physiology, virtual dissections, forensic science, medical terminology, dental sciences, electrocardiogram labs, biology, and virtual patient care.
“The Visible Body+ allows us to get down to a microscopic view of everything in all body systems including disease processes,” CCHS 2023 graduate Bethany Vazquez said. “This can spark interest in many careers in the health science field.”
CCISD bused third through eighth grade students to STEM Girl Day at the University of Texas-Austin to spark female students’ interest in STEM careers and close the gender gap.
“Our main goal with this event was to promote STEM interest and exploration among one of our underrepresented groups,” Landez said. “As the need to prepare students for future STEM careers increases exponentially, we aim to ensure that all students have opportunities to become inspired to learn more about these concepts.”
Copperas Cove ISD high school students are enrolling in higher level science classes compared to their peers across the state. According to the TEA, 72 percent of CCHS students took at least one science course beyond Biology compared to 56 percent of Texas public high school students. Both Copperas Cove ISD junior high schools are STEM academies that provide specialized learning environments to empower and cultivate the potential of students interested in STEM disciplines. While most districts only allow freshmen to enroll in Algebra 1, all CCISD eighth graders are required to take Algebra 1.
Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Services Amanda Crawley stated CCISD eighth graders scored well above state average for passing standard in the 2022-2023 school year.
“The state had a 78 percent passing rate on Algebra 1, and our 8th graders had an 83.3 percent passing rate as accelerated testers taking the test a year ahead of their peers which allows them to take high level math classes in high school,” Crawley said. “This does not penalize any student since students who do not pass get to take Algebra 1 again as ninth graders and remain on track to graduate on time.
However, it does allow all of our students to take Calculus by the time they are seniors, which prepares our students for college and careers beyond high school.”