Patton’s winning program, “Integrated Modern Industrial Research and Development,” also known as iMIRD, is a project-based learning class that teaches students how to create software solutions through object-oriented computer programming with Scratch software. Advances in the program allow students to create more in-depth software solutions and develop complex games and simulation programs that have a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) focus. The objective of the program is to teach students computation skills through software programming that correlates with their math and science courses and to prepare them for enrollment in the district’s high school Career Technology Education department. The iMIRD course is unique because it is one of the few computer programming courses offered in Texas middle schools. Patton, who resides in Prosper, hopes iMIRD will prepare students to succeed academically in high school and compete in the workforce.