Supporting STEM: Strategies That Engage Minds ®

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

NC STEM e-Update (Sept. 21, 2017)

September 21st, 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.

NC STEM e-Update (Sept. 7, 2017)

September 7th, 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.

NC programs and events help reduce summer slide

September 6th, 2017

Summer vacation isn’t what it used to be. Beach trips, pool days, and theme park trips aren’t the only activities filling weeks outside the classroom.

Instead, teachers and students mix work with play, taking advantage of summer programs that augment their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Through hands-on experiences, teachers learn better strategies for instructing students, and students see science touches most aspects of everyday life.

In fact, said Lisa Rhoades, senior program associate at the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, summer STEM programs make science a real-life adventure.

“Teachers might not teach 12 months, but they do look for opportunities to refine their practice and learn new strategies,” she said. “Additionally, students stay engaged and avoid summer learning loss. Summer programs give them unique experiences not found in school.”

North Carolina offers several programs for both groups.

Examples for teachers and students are listed below.

Teacher Programs

These programs focus on giving teachers new instructional strategies. In most instances, the programs take place in the field.

North Carolina Center for Advancement In Teaching

Based at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., the Center for Advancement In Teaching helps public school teachers master new classroom tactics to improve how they introduce science topics.

Among other programs, teachers can attend a four-day event in Ocracoke called Using Coastal Ecosystems to Enhance the Study of High School Biology. During the program, they partner with biologists and science experts to create lesson plans and demonstrations for high school students rooted in hands-on work with carbon/nitrogen cycles, energy pyramids, and biochemical processes in ecosystems.

Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership

During this three five-week summer internship teachers work with mentors in research and applied STEM settings, developing their STEM knowledge and leadership skills. The program is open to elementary-to-high school teachers.

Topics open to teachers are almost endless, including engineering, biology, chemistry, or materials science. At program’s end, teachers leave with a quiver full of ideas on making science more relatable to students.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary teacher Philip Carey said he will take his innovation experience with Hyde Park Partners into his 4th-grade classroom.

“I instantly drew parallels between the work Hyde Park does in its engineering innovation chamber with the work I want my students to do in my classroom,” he said. “I want my students to fail fast, fail cheap, improve, and try again. I can’t wait to tell my students the work they’re doing is truly preparing them for the world outside.”

SummerSTEM

Part of the WakeEd Partnership, SummerSTEM gives up to 100 teachers hands-on experience, bringing real-world lessons into the classroom. Each school can send two educators.

Program leaders pair teachers with existing STEM companies, such as Biogen, LORD Corporation, RedHat, and SAS, putting them in STEM career positions. The interactive experience has teachers working with mentors in the field. Simultaneously, teachers sharpen their own skills, and mentors help them refine units of study and classroom lesson plans.

Ultimately, educators make a presentation at a STEM Symposium, much like a science fair.

Student Programs

Designed to help students maintain and enhance their knowledge, these programs also send students into the field for first-hand experiences.

SSEP @ Eastern Carolina University

Part of Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Student Science Enrichment Program (SSEP), this year, Eastern Carolina University hosted a program for Greene County students who would be the first in their families to attend college. Being paired with a mentor with similar science or engineering interests boosted their excitement about and confidence in their research skills.

This year, Savyone Best, a junior at Greene Central High School designed a water-conserving shower head with teammates. They developed the concept from blueprints-to-production and received tips from professors about how to improve their product in the future.

Senior Evita Enrique echoed that enthusiasm, adding the endeavor prepared her for the next academic step.

“My experience with the SSEP program at ECU was amazing! I learned many skills, such as the process of electrophoresis, the process of inserting DNA into a plant, amongst other things,” she said. “This program not only helps students better understand the fundamentals of STEM, but it also exposes you to a whole new environment of college life.”

SMILE Camp

Located in Raleigh, SMILE (Science and Math Interactive Learning Experience) Camp provides hands-on interactions to elementary-to-high school students. The program offers 10 week-long camps for children ages 7-to-18.

Elementary school students learn how and why things work as they do, touching on chemistry, physics, and materials engineering while working with gears, magnets, and electricity.

Projects are more complex for middle school students. They tackle 3D modeling, rocketry, and mobile app development, working with metallic crystals, redox reactions, and liquid nitrogen.

High school students design and build their own machines. In the past, participants built an internal combustion engine.

FEMMES Camp

This camp supports the push for more girls to enter STEM fields. Hosted by Duke University, this program, for rising 5th- and 6th-grade girls, brings participants on campus for hands-on activities led by undergraduate and graduate female counselors and mentors.

During the five-day program, 50 girls engage in research activities based on a theme. Through last year’s forensic science theme, they learned about fingerprint analysis, DNA extraction from cheek cells, blood splatter analysis, footprint impressions, and powder analysis. Participants also toured other research projects and facilities on campus.

By Whitney Palmer