Supporting STEM: Strategies That Engage Minds ®

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NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (March 23, 2017)

March 23rd, 2017

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

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NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (March 9, 2017)

March 9th, 2017

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

Not receiving an e-update? Click here to subscribe and get your personalized copy sent directly to your email address.

North Carolina Students Selected to Share Science Projects in Beijing

March 6th, 2017

North carolinaRESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Four North Carolina students have been selected as finalists for the North Carolina International Science Challenge (NCISC).  The NCISC is a yearly North Carolina science competition for high school students. The selected students travel to Beijing, China to present their science research projects at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition the third week of March.

The four students selected are:

  • Raymond Gao, senior, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM)
    A Weighted Modeling Algorithm for Radio Astronomy Mapping
  • Arjun Keshava, senior, Wake Early College of Health and Science
    Detection of Smoking-Associated DNA Methylation Changes in the AHRR Gene Using High Resolution Melt Method
  • Dory Li, senior, NCSSM
    Protein-coated DNA Nanostructures: Development and Application in Drug Delivery
  • Ana Sofia Uzsoy, senior, NCSSM
    Drastic conditions call for drastic measures: the viability of terrestrial extremophiles in simulated Martian UV radiation

The competition requires students to undertake a research project, write an abstract explaining their research problem and present their research to a panel of scientists and engineers. The students selected spend a week in Beijing presenting their research, meeting students from other countries, and experiencing various cultural and scientific events.

The NCISC is offered jointly by the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center (SMT Center) and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

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Contact:  Lisa Rhoades at 919/991-5111 or lrhoades@bwfund.org

Two NC School Districts recognized for graduating students global ready

March 3rd, 2017

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Onslow County Schools were recognized at the February State Board of Education meeting for achieving Global-Ready designation. They are the first two school districts to be recognized for having the programs and tools to ensure students graduate prepared to live, work and contribute in an interconnected, global world.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was recognized as a Global-Ready Prepared District, which means that the district effectively implemented systems and processes to support global readiness. Also, many components of global education are embedded district-wide including sound, well-embedded practices that show a positive impact on students.

Onslow County Schools received the Global-Ready Model Designation, which means the district consistently implements systems and processes to support global readiness. The district is a leader for other schools to replicate or model. Global readiness is embedded in the school’s culture, and well-developed, cutting edge practices show consistent, high-level student impact.

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer Maria Pitre-Martin congratulated district leadership on their accomplishments saying, “These districts are leading the way in demonstrating the importance and effectiveness of global education practices in graduating students who are globally engaged and productive citizens.”

In 2013, State Board of Education members approved five commitments to help ensure students graduate globally prepared. These commitments – teacher support and tools, leading-edge language instruction, new school models, district networking and recognition, and strategic international relationship – led to a new focus on global education and recognition efforts that supported the State Board’s vision statement.

One of the outcomes was to develop criteria that define what it means to be a Global-Ready District or School. The Global-Ready District implementation rubric was adopted by the State Board of Education in May 2015 and embraces the tenets to provide:

K-12 world language opportunities for all students, and pathways for teachers and administrators to achieve State Board recognized badging;
career-ready employer requirements;
global school partnerships; and
local school board resolutions and plans on global education.

Additional information on the Global-Ready District Designation process and the State Board of Education Global Education initiative is available on NCDPI’s NC Global Education website.

Astro Advisory: The Vernal Equinox is coming!

March 2nd, 2017

Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute point out that at 6:29 a.m. EDT on Monday, March 20 the sun will cross the celestial equator in the sky heading north.  This will be the first moment of spring.

What is the astronomical significance of this event?  At this moment the sun, in its apparent path around the sky, will stand directly over the equator of the earth.  It is one of two times during the year when this happens, the other being on the first day of autumn.

These are the two days of the year when the Sun is above the horizon for exactly half the day.  Thus, the length of daylight is equal to that of the night (neglecting twilight and atmospheric refraction) and this day is termed the equinox from the Latin for “equal night.”  After the equinox in March, called the spring or vernal equinox, the hours of daylight continue to lengthen with the sun above the horizon for a longer time each day.  This continues until the summer solstice in June (12:24 a.m. EDT on June 21).  Following the solstice the days get shorter until at the fall or autumnal equinox (next at 4:02 p.m. EDT on September 22) when the day and night are once again equal in length.

Since on the vernal equinox the sun stands directly above the earth’s equator, folklore holds that one is able to stand an egg on its end on that day.  This old wives’ tale is true; one can stand an egg on its end on that day!  However, the tale is only a half truth because, in fact, one can stand most eggs on their ends any day of the year, not just on the vernal equinox.

Try it!  (It really depends on the characteristics of the egg, not the date.)

NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (Feb. 23, 2017)

February 23rd, 2017

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

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NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (Feb. 10, 2017)

February 10th, 2017

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

Not receiving an e-update? Click here to subscribe and get your personalized copy sent directly to your email address.

Gravity Games 2017: We’re ready to roll – are you?

February 7th, 2017

Drivers, on your mark … Registration is open and filling up fast as the 7th Annual NC Gravity Games get ready to roll in downtown Lenoir on Saturday, April 29.

The NC Gravity Games, a signature event of the North Carolina Science Festival, features a gravity-powered race and STEM extravaganza designed to get students revved up about science and engineering. The event is brought to you by Google, Appalachian State University, the University of North Carolina, and the City of Lenoir.

You can Register Online as well as review the 2017 Rules – which have been revised for this year.

We strongly encourage returning teams to challenge themselves this year by creating their cars from scratch and competing in our “Engineered” or “Engineering Challenge” divisions. Space in the kit car division is limited, so if you’re eyeing this category, please be advised that only three kit teams per school will be allowed.

Registration closes at midnight EDT on April 17.

Questions? Visit ncgravitygames.com or email at contact@ncgravitygames.com.

Call for Applications: NIEHS Summer PD for High School Teachers

February 6th, 2017

High school educators are encouraged to apply for the 2017 Science, Teachers and Research Summer (STaRS) Experience.

This two-week professional development program, hosted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is designed to enhance high school science teachers’ understanding of basic research in biomedical sciences and enable them to transfer knowledge received from this program into classroom applications. After participating in exploratory lectures, lab investigations and group discussions, teachers will process what they’ve learned to develop lesson plans and classroom projects. Finally, through engagement and discussion with NIEHS scientists in various research labs and the NIEHS Clinical Research Unit, teachers will broaden their understanding of translational research processes.

The program will run from Monday, July 10, to Friday, July 21, (excluding Saturday and Sunday).

STaRS participants are expected to attend the full two-week program and actively participate each day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To offset costs associated with lodging, meals, transportation and time spent during the two-week program, participants will receive a $2,000 stipend. The stipend will be provided in two equal payments, which will be disbursed each week of the program.

Requirements

  • Applicants must be currently teaching in a North Carolina high school.
  • Applicants must be available for the full two-week program (July 10-21, excluding Saturday and Sunday).
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation and be willing to travel to Research Triangle Park (which may include overnight stays at a hotel in Research Triangle Park on Sunday through Thursday each week).

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Click to learn more.

NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (Jan. 26, 2017)

January 26th, 2017

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

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USDoE releases guidance on federal funds to support STEM

January 20th, 2017

Ensuring all students have access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is fundamental to the U.S. Department of Education’s goal of providing equitable educational opportunities so that all students are prepared to succeed in college, careers, and life.

To further the goal of high-quality STEM education for all, federal agencies, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and private-sector partners are encouraged to coordinate their efforts and to use modern research-based methods.

The USDoE Guidance Letter issued on Jan. 18, 2017 aims to help SEAs, LEAs, and their partners better understand how to use federal funds to support innovative, equity-focused pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (Pre-K–12) STEM education strategies under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

This letter updates the previous guidance provided April 16, 2016, detailing possible uses of federal funds for the 2016–2017 school year under the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

To help SEAs, LEAs, and their partners identify potential ways to use federal formula grant funds to support STEM education, this letter provides examples of how funds from title I, title II, title III, and title IV of the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 can support efforts to improve Pre-K–12 instruction and student outcomes in STEM fields.

These examples fall into the following categories:

  1. Increase students’ equitable access to STEM courses and experiences, including out-of- school programs, STEM-themed schools, and career pathways;
  2. Support educators’ knowledge and expertise in STEM disciplines through recruitment, preparation, support, and retention strategies; and
  3. Increase student access to materials and equipment needed to support inquiry-based pedagogy and active learning.

Enhancing the impact of STEM education programs and maximizing the impact of available federal resources necessitate leveraging various sources of support.

We encourage you to view the information provided in the Guidance Letter as a helpful tool in your efforts to provide access to high-quality STEM programs and resources as well as improve learning and achievement for all students.

NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (Jan. 12, 2017)

January 12th, 2017

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

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Best of STEM in North Carolina for 2016

December 29th, 2016

Please enjoy our compilation of some of the best stories in STEM education this year. The NC STEM Learning Network starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

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NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (Dec. 15, 2016)

December 15th, 2016

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

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NC STEM Learning Network e-Update (Dec. 1, 2016)

December 1st, 2016

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NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest edition is now available for you.

View our e-Update in your browser by clicking here.

Not receiving an e-update? Click here to subscribe and get your personalized copy sent directly to your email address.