The North Carolina State Board of Education has recognized seven public schools as STEM Schools of Distinction for exemplary leadership and instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Schools were either recognized as meeting the Prepared Level of Achievement or the Model Level of Achievement.
To be chosen these schools must exemplify outstanding leadership and learning, which empower keen creative thinking, reasoning and teamwork. Schools recognized under the Model Level of Achievement go even further by systemically interweaving science, technology, engineering and mathematics into complementary arts, Career and Technical Education, English language arts, and World History courses.
Three schools met the Prepared Level of Achievement:
- James Kenan High School, Duplin County Schools
- Riverside Middle School, Martin County Schools
- East Cary Middle School, Wake County Schools
Four schools met the Model Level of Achievement:
- Greene Central High School, Greene County Schools
- Wake STEM Early College High School, Wake County Schools
- Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering, Wake County Schools
- Atkins Academic and Technology High School, Winston-Salem
“In today’s world, quality education means solving problems, thinking creatively and adapting to changing environments. In my mind, STEM stands for Strategies That Engage Minds,” said Dr. Sam Houston, President and CEO of the N.C. Science, Mathematics & Technology (SMT) Education Center, which worked with N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the William and Ida Friday Institute for Education Innovation to create the Schools of Distinction Program. “These STEM Schools of Distinction are the best at engaging young minds every day, and we are happy the State Board of Education is helping other schools throughout the state work with them and learn from their success.”
“Focusing on STEM is how schools are preparing students for careers in the fields that help sustain today’s economy,” said North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson. “I commend these schools for their commitment to ensuring that our graduates finish school with a solid foundation on which they can strengthen and expand the many unique skills demanded in STEM professions.”
Overall, 20 applications were submitted for possible recognition. To receive this honor, schools underwent a rigorous application process that required detailed responses covering 40 key elements: examples of strategic class documents and video; a self-assessment; identification of the school’s best practice of educational excellence; and a site visit from reviewers.