EL PASO, Texas -

The Canutillo Independent School District is helping pave the way for more opportunities in STEM education.

STEM focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

In 2015, CISD introduced Project Lead The Way to attract more students to STEM and now in its second year the district wide collaboration is seen in the district's elementary, middle and high schools.

PLTW provides a comprehensive approach to STEM education through hands-on activities and a rigorous curriculum.

At Canutillo High School, projects range from building 3D models to the introduction to civil and mechanical engineering and robotics.

"This empowers a student to look at a problem and come up with a solution," said Hector Acosta, an engineering teacher at CHS.

PLTW has proven to be successful at the high school. Over the summer, CHS was recognized by the Texas Education Agency as a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy.

Schools have to apply for the designation.

It's now one of 121 schools in the state focusing on improving education and academic performance in STEM-related subjects, with a goal of encouraging more students to study and enter STEM careers.

"There's more rigor to it. The kids understand what they're getting into and they buy into it, they really put their best effort," Acosta said.

Other El Paso campuses recognized as T-STEM academies include Franklin and Ysleta High Schools.