THE Journal: Harmony Public Schools, a charter network in Texas, will be dedicating a new five-year, $7.9 million grant to expand a STEM project-based learning model from middle and high school into its elementary schools. "Launching Elementary Academic Foundations to STEM" or "LEAF to STEM," as the initiative is named, will reach 7,000 students in 16 elementary schools. The funding was one of 18 grants announced recently by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation & Improvement.
There's no surprise that Harmony was especially singled out for the grant. In a project narrative submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, the charter system stated that a study of Harmony alumni found them to be more than twice as likely to choose a STEM major in college than typical high school students within Texas or the rest of the country.