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Coppell ISD launches first-of-its-kind STEAM program for elementary school students

Coppell ISD launches first-of-its-kind STEAM program for elementary school students
Coppell ISD launches first-of-its-kind STEAM program for elementary school students 01:55

COPPELL ( — A North Texas school district is bringing STEAM education to every elementary school student this academic year.  

Coppell ISD says it's the only program of its kind in the metroplex.

"There's other programs out there, but nothing like we're doing here," said Mike Yakubovsky, the STEAM instructional coach for Coppell ISD. "Every student in the district gets it. It's not some of the students. It's not a GT pull-out program. This is every student—kindergarten through fifth grade—is getting this experience." 

With the science, technology, engineering, arts and math curriculum, students have to think outside the box to solve real-world problems. 

"It's like really fun, and it's kind of creative to do," said Saanvi Ramesh, a third grade student at Denton Creek Elementary School. 

For this week's project, third grade students designed an emoji on paper, then used an app on their iPads to give it a voice and another app to bring it to life, experiencing it move in 3D in the classroom. 

"It was so cool because you would never think a drawing could become 3D, but it did," said 8-year-old Sloane Trejo. "So that was just surprising whenever it actually worked." 

It takes more than just hands-on skills to complete the assignments. Perseverance, communication and teamwork are key, too. 

"The biggest thing I want them to know is they're capable of so much," said Ricki Rodriquez, the STEAM teacher at Denton Creek. "It takes every kid in their group to make sure their project or whatever they're creating is successful, that they matter and have something to contribute." 

Each of the district's 11 elementary schools now have a full-time STEAM educator. All students have a class with that teacher at least once a week, in addition to their music, art and PE rotations. 

CISD believes offering STEAM in elementary will help students build foundational skills they'll go on to use in middle and high school. 

"The possibilities are endless when they start in the younger grades," Rodriquez said. 

The district announced Wednesday it produced a record-breaking 49 National Merit semifinalists for the 2023-2024 school year.  

Forty-eight of those students attend Coppell High School, the highest number of any high school in the State of Texas. 

Selection is based on student scores on the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. National Merit semifinalists represent less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors. 

According to CISD, the 48 National Merit finalists from Coppell High School are 4.9% of the senior class of 968 students, which means that the high school has almost five times the number of National Merit finalists than the national average. 

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