Science Academy Receives National Recognition for Commitment to Empowering Students

Science Academy Receives National Recognition for Commitment to Empowering Students
Posted on 03/06/2019
Four Science Academy students in Innovation Lab hallwaySouth Texas Independent School District’s The Science Academy of South Texas recently announced that it has been recognized as a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities for students through PLTW Computer Science, Biomedical Science, and Engineering. It is the only high school in the Rio Grande Valley, and one of just two high schools in the state and 64 high schools across the U.S. to receive this honor for this school year. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that serves millions of PreK-12 students and teachers in schools across the U.S.

Irma Castillo, Ed.D., Science Academy principal, shared that, “We are extremely proud of our students for their innovation, dedication and pursuit of excellence. This recognition attests to our teachers’ hard work and the rigor of our curriculum. Sci Tech continues to lead the way in Science, Math, and Engineering, so we are not surprised that our students nationally represent what we strive for every day- inspiring world readiness through purposeful instruction for relevant learning.”

The PLTW Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement, and achievement in their PLTW programs. To be eligible for the designation, The Science Academy of South Texas had to meet the following criteria during the 2018-19 school year:
• Offer at least three PLTW courses;
• Have 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses during their high school tenure;
• Have 70 percent of students or more earn a Proficient or higher on PLTW End-of-Course Assessments, or 10 percent of students earn the AP + PLTW Student Achievement.

Through PLTW programs, students develop STEM knowledge as well as in-demand, transportable skills that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

PLTW Biomedical Science introduces high school students to medicine and human body systems, as well as the wide array of biomedical science careers. Throughout the program, students take on the same real-world challenges as biomedical science professionals, preparing them for careers in medical and health-related fields.

PLTW Engineering empowers high school students to step into the role of an engineer and adopt a problem-solving mindset. Students engage in collaborative, real-life activities like working with a client to design a home, programming electronic devices or robotic arms, and exploring algae as a biofuel source.

The PLTW Computer Science interdisciplinary courses engage students in compelling, real-world computer science challenges. As students work together to design solutions, they learn more than just how to code, developing computational thinking and communication skills for our increasingly technology-based economy.

“It is a great honor to recognize The Science Academy of South Texas for their commitment to students,” said Vince Bertram, President and CEO of PLTW. “They are a model for what school should look like, and they should be very proud of ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be career ready and successful on any career path they choose.”

The Science Academy of South Texas is part of a community of PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate and philanthropic partners across the country united around a passion for providing students with inspiring, engaging, and empowering learning opportunities. For more information about PLTW’s recognition program, visit

For more information on The Science Academy of South Texas’ PLTW program or to set up a school visit, contact the campus at 956.565.4620.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. Approximately 11,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit