Supporting STEM: Strategies That Engage Minds ®

Latest News on Competitions

2018 Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition Underway

March 26th, 2018

This week the student finalists of the North Carolina International Science Challenge traveled to Beijing to present their research. A part of the ongoing partnership with the Beijing Association of Science and Technology (BAST) since 2006, the high school researchers are taking part in the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition. More than 50 North Carolina students have participated in the international program.

Photo courtesy of Fran Nolan

Blogging for the SMT Center from the competition, Ritvik Bodducherla, a student from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics wrote about language barriers in presenting his research on ellagic acid.

Today was especially interesting, because it was the day for the public to view our projects. I saw lots of young Chinese students interested in science. The day was especially challenging because many of the students and visitors had some knowledge of English, but they were not completely fluent. This meant I had to break my research down to kindergarten vocabulary, which was incredibly challenging. However, I really enjoyed seeing all these people who wanted to know what my research was about, despite the obvious language barrier.

Michelle Gan from Enloe High School wrote about the interactive science displays:

We then took a bus to the West Campus, where interactive science displays were set up. We used 3D printing pens to design masks, but there were also stations with make-your-own catapults, robots, virtual reality, and more.

Elizabeth Farmer from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics was in awe of other research projects:

After all of my judges came around I got a chance to explore the competition and go to the mini maker fair. I met some of the people from the delegations from Australia and Israel and talked to them for a while as well. The mini maker fair was really cool and had some very creative and impressive projects. I was also blown away by some of the other research projects there. For example, one group had come up with a method to help detect silent heart attacks.

Marti Skold Jordan, a chaperone and delegate on the trip was a judge for part of the competition and summed up the collaborative nature of the event:

A promising young scientist, a middle school student from Macao summed it up perfectly at the end of his presentation this afternoon about the need for importance of scientific innovation and discovery.

“Science is the key to unlock the gates to a new era and to a brighter future”

To view all posts from Beijing, visit http://www.ncsciencecompetition.org/?cat=128

NC STEM e-Update (March 22, 2018)

March 22nd, 2018


Twice a month the NC STEM Center provides an e-update on what’s happening in STEM in North Carolina, and the latest edition is now available for you.

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NCASLD and NCSSA name first Dr. Samuel Houston Leadership Awards

March 13th, 2018

The North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD) and the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA) have announced the selection of the following as the recipients of the inaugural Dr. Samuel Houston Leadership Award.

Dr. Ve-Lecia Council, Assistant Superintendent of the Pitt County Schools; Dr. Jeremy Gibbs, Chief Academic Officer, Transylvania County Schools; Dr. Heather Mullins, Chief Academic Officer of the Newton-Conover City Schools and Dr. Otis Smallwood, Assistant Superintendent of the Jones County Schools – each received recognition.

This annual award is presented to a graduate or graduates of the North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development’s Aspiring Superintendent Program, a program which is designed to empower transformational education leaders for North Carolina’s public schools.

The award is named in honor of Dr. Samuel Houston, the current president and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMT) Center.

Dr. Houston served as superintendent of the Mooresville Graded School District for 10 years where he opened the first year-round school in North Carolina. Dr. Houston also has been a champion for strategic planning, student performance and accountability, meeting the needs of the 21st century workforce, skills for the STEM world and building education partnerships. Additionally, Dr. Houston was the first executive director of the University of North Carolina Center for Leadership Development. Dr. Houston was awarded the Jay Robinson Leadership Award as an Exemplary Educator for his outstanding contributions to statewide public K -12 education. He also earned the RJR-Nabisco Foundation’s China Breaker Award for implementing educational change. He has been inducted into the Appalachian State University Reich College of Education’s Rhododendron Society and the East Carolina University’s Education Hall of Fame and has received the Distinguished Career Award from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro School of Education.

NCSSA Executive Director Jack Hoke said Dr. Council, Dr. Gibbbs, Dr. Mullins and Dr. Smallwood exemplify the traits that guide Dr. Sam Houston’s career in educational leadership. They have a commitment to continuous improvement, high standards of ethical conduct, strategic planning, improving student performance and meeting the needs of the 21st century workforce. I am very proud of these Dr. Sam Houston Leadership Award winners and look forward to seeing them progress in educational leadership.

Each award winner was presented a check for $1,000 to be used for personal professional development.

NC STEM e-Update (March 8, 2018)

March 8th, 2018


Twice a month the NC STEM Center provides an e-update on what’s happening in STEM in North Carolina, and the latest edition is now available for you.

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NC STEM e-Update (Feb. 22, 2018)

February 22nd, 2018


NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month NC STEM provides an e-update on what’s happening in STEM in North Carolina, and the latest edition is now available for you.

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NC STEM e-Update (Feb. 8, 2018)

February 8th, 2018


The NC STEM Center starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM in North Carolina and beyond, 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 e-Update (Jan. 25, 2018)

January 25th, 2018


Twice a month the NC STEM Center provides an e-update on what’s happening in STEM education in North Carolina, and the latest edition is now available for you.

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Call for nominations: 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award in STEM Education

January 17th, 2018

North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR) is accepting nominations for its K-16 Distinguished Teaching Award in STEM Education, which is designed to recognize higher education faculty and educators at the elementary, middle and high school levels who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Those wishing to nominate an educator or themselves for the 2018 awards should submit a nomination form and supporting documents to NCABR no later than March 30. Self-nominations will be accepted.

Each award consists of:

Complimentary registration to the current year’s Bridging the Gap STEM education conference (registrations will be refunded for awardees who register and pay in advance);

$500 cash prize; and

Recognition and award presentation at the Bridging the Gap conference on Oct. 23-24, in Raleigh.

To learn more about the award and eligibility, please visit the Bridging the Gap website. Bridging the Gap is a statewide conference that unites K-12 education, higher education, industry, government and other STEM groups to work toward the common goal of strengthening K-16 STEM education in North Carolina. Since 2012, more than 2,330 STEM stakeholders from North Carolina and beyond have come together at Bridging the Gap to share ideas and resources.

NC STEM e-Update (Jan. 11, 2018)

January 11th, 2018


NC STEM starts with you. Twice a month we provide an e-update on what’s happening in STEM, and our latest (and first) edition for 2018 is now available for you. We hope you enjoy the new layout and format. Please share your thoughts with us.

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NC STEM e-Update (Nov. 30, 2017)

November 30th, 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 e-Update (Nov. 16, 2017)

November 16th, 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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Kenan Fellows 2018-2019 applications open in December

November 2nd, 2017

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership will begin accepting online applications for its 2018-19 Fellowship year on Dec. 1. Please continue to check their website often as new fellowships are being updated regularly.

These exclusive Fellowships address the critical need to develop and empower high-quality teachers, who, in turn, make learning more authentic for students. The Fellowship begins with a summer internship in a higher education lab or industry setting and is supported by 80 hours of professional development that focuses on building leadership capacity and proven instructional strategies.

Fellowship projects have a unique set of criteria that in some cases is restricted by district, grade level and subject. Projects vary from scientific research to work experiences in the agriculture and high-tech manufacturing industries.

View the Fellowships available this upcoming cycle.

Each Fellow is awarded at least a $5,000 stipend, and must develop and implement relevant educational materials and/or programs based on their internship experience. Fellows remain in the classroom while completing the year-long fellowship.

Founded in 2000, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest (science, technology, engineering and math) STEM-focused teacher leadership program in North Carolina.

Approximately 50 outstanding K–12 teachers from across the state are selected annually for this year-long program.

NC STEM e-Update (Oct. 26, 2017)

October 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.

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STEM Across NC: Halloween Events

October 17th, 2017

It’s Halloween — time for Frankenstein, Ghostbusters, Witch’s Brew, and all things slimy. That means it’s also time for…science!

This month, indulge your inner mad scientist and take advantage of the many opportunities throughout North Carolina to celebrate the creepiest and grossest night of the year. From ghosts to sea monsters to zombies, now is your chance to see where science fits in with the things that might scare you most.

Below is a list of some events featuring supernatural science this year for both kids and adults. Attend and participate — if you dare!

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Event: Final Fridays: Ghostbusters

Come to watch Ghostbusters (1984), and learn about the Sons of Zuul (animals that glow in the dark or have eyes bigger than melons), attend Ghost Camp (use science to solve ghost stories), and visit the Slimer Spot (make your own ectoplasm).

When: Oct. 27
Time: 5:30pm to 9pm
Where: WRAL 3D Theater
11 W. Jones St. | Raleigh, NC 27601

Cost: $2 members/$5 non-members

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Event: Science Cinema Halloween Spooktacular

Enjoy the horror classic Frankenstein (1931) and creepy crafts. Be a mad scientist, too! Get gooey with slime science, concoct a potion, or experience the shock of static electricity.

When: Oct. 28
Time: 10am to 3:10pm
Where: 415 S. Madison St. | Whiteville, N.C., 28472

Cost: Free

Marbles Kids Museum

Event: Kooky Spooky Halloween Party

Attend Ghoul School, be a mad scientist, and be a “graveyard smash” at the Monster Mash Dance Party. Make Boo Bubble (dry ice) and get icky with polymer goo worms and slime.

When: Oct. 28
Time: 6pm to 8:30 pm
Where: 201 E. Harvest St. | Raleigh, NC 27601

Cost: Advance Tickets: $12 members/$15 non-members
Week-of Tickets: $15 members/$18 non-members

North Carolina Botanical Garden

Event: Pumpkins at The Botanical Garden

Nothing says Halloween more than being in the woods — and Botanical Gardens are pretty close. Wander through the trees and plants, encounter live animals, and brew up natural potions. Don’t want to hand out candy to your Trick-or-Treaters? Design a candy catapult that might toss candy into their buckets for you.

When: Oct. 27
Where: 100 Old Mason Farm Rd. | Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Time: 5:30pm to 8pm

Cost: $5; Under 3, free

Register: www.ncbg.unc.edu; Additional information: www.wonderconnection.org

Discovery Place Science

Event: Science on the Rocks: Fright at the Museum

Halloween isn’t only for kids. As an adult, come enjoy the science behind the scares. Try your hand at spooky science experiments. Ever wonder what makes zombie tick? Come dissect one. And, experience in-your-face frights with haunted virtual reality.

When: Oct. 20
Where: 301 N. Tryon St. | Charlotte, NC 28202
Time: 5pm to 9pm

Cost: $10 in advance/$12 at the door; Parking fee not included

Online ticket sales end Oct. 20, 3pm

Adults, age 21+

Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) 

Event: Pumpkin Monster Mash

Take your jack-o-lantern to the next level in the AMOS STEM Lab. Put your technical and engineering skills to the test and design a monster pumpkin. Build your own Frankenstein’s Monster with nuts, bolts, washers, and other supplies.

When: Oct. 21
Time: 1:30pm to 4:30pm
Where: 43 Patton Ave. | Asheville, NC 28801

Cost: Included with museum admission; suggested $3 donation

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By Whitney Palmer

NC STEM e-Update (Oct. 12, 2017)

October 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.

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