Harlingen school to offer specialized courses in science, technology, math and medicine

HARLINGEN — Math and medicine go hand in hand.

So do science, technology and engineering. As these separate disciplines are interrelated, so will they be at the new Harlingen STEMM Preparatory Academy when it opens this fall.

STEMM stands for science, technology, engineering, math and medicine. The new academy will open to sixth and seventh graders for the 2018-2019 school year. It will be located at the former St. Paul’s Academy at 1920 E. Washington Ave.

The Harlingen school district purchased the property in October for more than $2 million to house the school.

The STEMM academy is the latest in a series of special academies being created to offer specialized sets of disciplines.

“This new academy features a small learning environment imbedded in innovative curriculum,” said Joseph Villarreal, assistant superintendent for secondary education.

This specific innovative curriculum is being offered to “enhance students’ passions for opportunities in STEMM, college and career pathways,” he said.

While there are no specific prerequisites, applicants to the school will need to have a strong academic background. But it will have something to offer a variety of students.

“There’s obviously a need in our community, state and country to produce students that are going to be able to compete for STEMM-related jobs,” he said. “These opportunities are going to better prepare our students for college and also for some students that want to jump right into the work force.”

In other words, even those students who aren’t going to college can benefit from attending the academy because they’ll have a stronger STEMM background than others lacking that coursework.

“We’re also going to be providing character and leadership development for our students,” he said.

The school will open for eighth graders in the 2019–2020 school year.

More Information

Information sessions at Harlingen School for Health Professions for parents and students interested in STEMM Preparatory Academy will be held March 20, March 22 and March 27, all from 6 to 7 p.m.