Choosing the Best STEM Schools in Dallas for your Teen

by | May 20, 2024

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are integral to nearly every high school curriculum. 

However, how these topics are taught and integrated throughout a student’s coursework varies greatly from school to school.

STEM schools are often ranked based on their overall outcomes—how well students fare on standardized tests, how integrated student-centered STEM learning is in all classrooms and across various subjects, and how well-prepared graduates emerge for STEM college programs. 

However, categorizing any institution as better than another is difficult since each school has different priorities and does things differently. 

Ultimately, picking the right STEM program is about finding the best fit for your high schooler.

 

Best Dallas STEM Schools

Here are seven Dallas area high schools known for their outstanding STEM programs. 

In some cases, schools have created detailed STEM-based curriculums, while others score highly by teaching foundational courses to high standards in an engaging way. 

While we’re obviously partial to our own STEM program, your teen will discover the benefits of STEM programs at any of these schools.

 

Rising Aviation High School

https://www.risingaviation.com

Addison, TX

With its campus at the Addison Airport, few high schools can match the level of hands-on and engaging STEM training that Rising Aviation High School provides its students. 

In their junior year, students can choose between becoming a licensed private pilot, a certified drone (unmanned aerial systems) operator, or earn an FAA General Mechanic certification.

Academic programs are centered around STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Aviation, and Math. 

This approach brings together a group of educators and students around a common passion, providing the bedrock of an engaging and truly useful STEM curriculum.

Rising Aviation High School is accredited by STEM.org, Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary School, and the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission.  Flight, Drone and Maintenance training are all completed at Addison Airport. If your student is interested in aviation or aerospace as a career, Rising Aviation is the school for you.

Dallas STEM school kids in class

School of Science & Engineering

https://www.dallasisd.org/semagnet

Oak Cliff, TX

The School of Science and Engineering (SEM) at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center is a public magnet school in the Dallas Independent School District. Established in 1982, it is one of the country’s oldest STEM schools. Hands-on science education and advanced mathematics and technology courses have always been the focus at SEM.

The school has won the Blue Ribbon School award from the US Department of Education in 2005, 2011, and 2022. Newsweek ranked the school the number one STEM school in the country in 2020. 

https://www.newsweek.com/americas-best-stem-high-schools-2020

 

School for the Talented & Gifted

https://www.dallasisd.org/tagmagnet

Oak Cliff, TX

Another public magnet school located at the Townview Magnet Center, the School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG), was established in 1982 to provide a rigorous academic program for grades 9 through 12. 

As it is a selective-admission program, students at TAG take Advanced Placement math and science courses.

The school has been listed as one of the nation’s best public high schools several times, including in 2010 by Newsweek and in 2016 by US News and World Report. 

The school is consistently rated as one of the best public high schools in Dallas by D Magazine. In 2020, the school came in number two (right behind the School of Science and Engineering) in Newsweek’s list of Best STEM high schools. For 2024, the school was listed by US News as the sixth-best high school in the nation and the best in Texas.

Flight simulator students at Rising Aviation High School

St. Marks School of Texas

https://www.smtexas.org

North Dallas, TX

St. Mark’s is a private, non-sectarian, all-boys preparatory school for students grades 1 to 12. 

It traces its roots back to the Terrill School for Boys, founded in 1906. Where the original school failed after the passing of founding headmaster Menter B. Terrill, the modern St. Mark’s is overseen by a dedicated board of directors made up of some of the city’s most established individuals. 

From their early days, the board has focused on creating an endowment and encouraging science and math. 

Numerous publications give St. Mark’s high marks for its strong academics, athletics, extracurricular, and STEM programs. It also has one of the state’s most beautiful high school campuses. The school is a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest and the International Boys’ Schools Coalition.

 

Hockaday School

https://www.hockaday.org

North Dallas, TX

The Hockaday School is a private day and boarding school for girls in grades PK through 12. The four cornerstones of Hockaday’s program are character, courtesy, scholarship, and athletics. 

The Hockaday curriculum is well-routed in liberal education essentials, including mathematics and science courses. In addition, the school hosts several camps and extracurriculars aimed at shrinking the gender gap in STEM fields. 

 

Cistercian Preparatory School

https://school.cistercian.org

Irving, TX

Cistercian is a private, all-boys, Catholic preparatory school for grades 5 to 12. It was founded in 1962 by monks who had fled Hungary after World War II. The school is known for its strong, all-honors curriculum, which also includes a focus on character and spiritual growth. 

Cistercian is a small school with a total enrollment of less than 400. It has been ranked as one of the country’s top five Catholic high schools and among the top 50 “smartest private high schools in the United States.” 

In athletics, the school is a member of the Southwest Preparatory Conference.

STEM project for Dallas Students

Greenhill School

https://www.greenhill.org

Addison, TX

Greenhill is a coed private day school founded in 1950 with programs for grades PreK to 12. The Upper School (high school) has about 470 students. 

In 2022, the school broke ground on the construction of a brand-new, 52,000-square-foot STEM + Innovation Center to bolster its already strong academic curriculum. In the school’s words, “We don’t have to put ourselves into a “STEM school” box in order for our students to receive an excellent STEM education.” 

They focus on a strong student-centered program that helps their students realize their potential. 

The school is a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest and the Southwest Preparatory Conference. Newsweek recognized Greenhill as one of the nation’s top STEM schools in 2020. https://www.greenhillsschool.org/news/newsweek-recognizes-greenhills-as-top-stem-school/ 

 

Which STEM School is Right For You?

Picking any school is a deeply personal choice, and there’s never one right answer for everyone. 

Ultimately, touring the facilities, meeting the staff and teachers, and seeing what a school is all about is the best way to pick the right one for you. The best schools are the ones where the students are interested in learning and where they receive the best preparation for the college and career of their choice.

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