The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has claimed that its effort to improve Mexico’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education system is making massive gains.

The teaching program is designed to help students develop a deep and meaningful understanding of STEM concepts.

Over the years, several municipal governments have implemented the program in several elementary, middle, and high schools across Mexico, according to Guadalupe Carmona, the director and principal researcher for Campus Viviente, a research and education program housed at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

In 2013 alone, nine high schools in the state of Coahuila introduced the program. Since then, Carmona said, the academic performance of students has been on the upswing.

“By the end of the first year of implementation, the students scoring in the top achievement levels on standardized tests for maths doubled compared to peers in a control group not using the Campus Viviente approach and curriculum. In the second year, that number was four times larger,” said Carmona in an article published on the University website.

To make learning easier, the university encourages students to crosscheck what they learn in classrooms with what they see in their surroundings.

“The high school students in Coahuila were excited because they could connect advanced math, science, engineering and technological concepts to what was happening in their lives outside of school,” Carmona said. “They can see how what they are learning in school can be used in their current lives and in their future jobs. This excitement has translated into real, measurable success.”

The University has devised several learning tools, software, and curricula for both teachers and students. “All resources are currently available in Spanish and English, and can also be extended to other languages and cultures,” says Carmona.