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Toyota Teams Up with SMU and Dallas ISD to Support Future STEM School in West Dallas

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In an attempt to prepare and inspire students for the next generation of STEM-based careers, Toyota USA Foundation has teamed up with Southern Methodist University and Dallas Independent School District to create a new and innovative STEM school in West Dallas.

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“This is an exciting opportunity for our students and families of west Dallas as  this unique public private partnership comes together,” said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. “STEM jobs are the wave of the future, and Toyota and SMU’s contribution is a major investment in shaping the next generation. This is a significant shift in education, and we’re grateful to these incredible partners.”

With a generous $2 million grant to SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Toyota USA Foundation is helping to develop curricula, provide development for teachers, advise on innovative educational practices, coordinate the nonprofits in the area, and monitor and evaluate the program.


Chris Nielsen, executive vice president and chief quality officer at Toyota, spoke about the importance of making a STEM education accessible to all students

Nonprofits that are already working with Dallas ISD through the SMU Simmons School program, The School Zone, will collaborate on important community-related issues like transportation, literacy, after school care, and nutrition.

“Collectively, our goal is to create a brighter future for students, help families become more resilient, and create a community and school model that can be replicated,” said Mike Goss, president of Toyota USA Foundation. “We want to help increase access to opportunity, connecting students to the millions of STEM jobs that exist today, and the many more that will be created as industry advances.”

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After the planning phase is complete, the following two academic years will focus on professional development for faculty — which will be staffed by the Dallas ISD — and curriculum for students. The new STEM school is set to do a phased opening in fall 2021.