Recognizing that teachers typically don’t have time to reach out to the scientific and engineering community and that North Carolina has a wealth of resources in its STEM professionals, the SMT Center created the Teacher Link Program (TLP). The Teacher Link Program paired scientists and engineers with K-8 classroom teachers enrolled in an NSF-funded grant to improve science education. The scientists and engineers – Teacher Link Fellows – answered questions from teachers or students, made classroom visits, provided demonstrations for science night events or served as judges for science fairs.
The SMT Center’s partner in the grant was the Center for Inquiry-Based Learning (CIBL). CIBL provided 9,600 teachers in 25 school districts in-depth professional development on inquiry-based science and the use of science curriculum kits. CIBL continues to provide educators with inquiry-based science materials aligned to current standards, full-service science kit management and professional development to effectively teach current science standards.