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. Public Schools of North Carolina . . State Board of Education . . Department Of Public Instruction .



Welcome to the website for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education and Leadership. STEM Education is an infusion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through project-based learning to understand complex problems and to prepare our next generation of innovators.

PURPOSE :: STEM Education and Leadership is to prepare 21st Century K-12 STEM educators and leaders to teach and disseminate new integrated approaches to STEM teaching and learning to benefit students in North Carolina to be career and college ready.  North Carolina’s STEM Education connects education programs, postsecondary education, policy-makers, business/industry, and other state agencies to STEM initiatives to the Department of Public Instruction, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and schools to ensure our citizens are learning the skills that will keep their communities globally competitive.


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STEM Recognition Program Application Release 2015: NC STEM Recognition Program
North Carolina is providing quality STEM education. To recognize our states finest STEM Schools and Programs, NC has developed an application process to identify and recognize exemplary STEM Schools and STEM Programs. The STEM Recognition Program provides elementary, middle, and high schools the opportunity to submit an application for review describing their schools distinguished approaches to leading and learning; implementing the 11 essential STEM Attributes as defined in the STEM Attribute Implementation Rubric. Schools/Programs demonstrating evidence they are implementing all Attributes of a quality STEM program at the "Prepared" or "Model" level will be recognized.

2015-16 STEM Application

PDF’s of the STEM Recognition Application Packets are intended for guidance and hard copy reference. Schools planning to apply for recognition and review are to contact Tina Marcus to receive the formal application.

  • 2015-16 NC STEM Recognition Application Packet Elementary/Middle School
    (pdf, 1.9mb)
  • 2015-16 NC STEM Recognition Application Packet High School
    (pdf, 2.0mb)

Application Schedule 2015-16

  • 2015-16 STEM Application Schedule
    (pdf, 38kb)

NC STEM Attribute Implementation Rubric(s): Elementary, Middle, High School

Elementary School
(pdf, 514kb)

Middle School
(pdf, 514kb)

High School
(pdf, 563kb)

Engineering Connections to K-12 Education
The "E" in STEM, the engineering component, is connected to Science, Technology, Mathematics, and courses within the existing Standard Course of Study. Engineering Connections are developed and aligned with the STEM Implementation Rubric Principles.

STEM Schools Recognized for outstanding leadership and instruction in STEM Education
Twelve schools in North Carolina have been honored by The North Carolina State Board of Education for their exemplary leadership and instruction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. These schools were the first set of schools to be recognized as STEM Schools of Distinction, under the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction's (NCDPI) STEM Recognition Program. The STEM Recognition Program and application process was developed in partnership with representatives from NCDPI, North Carolina schools, business and industry, postsecondary institutions, and STEM-related experts leading a review team, as a way to identify and recognize STEM schools and STEM programs; which has been established as one of the country's most rigorous programs to commemorate educational excellence.

These schools represent the best in STEM education in North Carolina which exemplify outstanding leadership and learning that empower keen creative thinking, reasoning, and teamwork: the underpinnings of 21st century skills; in addition to implementing the essential STEM Attributes needed to be successful in today's society. Schools being recognized were either meeting the Model Level of Achievement or the Prepared Level of Achievement.

STEM exemplary schools are: Exploris Charter Middle, Wake County, receiving Model status, the highest level in the designation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM education. Schools achieving the Prepared Level of Achievement include: Atkins Academic & Technology High, Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools, Brentwood Elementary School of Engineering, Wake County Schools, Brunswick County Early College High School, Brunswick County Schools, Contentnea-Savannah K-8, Lenoir County Schools, Elkin Middle School, Elkin City Schools, Greene Central High, Greene County Schools, Hanes Magnet Middle, Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools, J.N. Fries Magnet Middle, Cabarrus County Schools, J Sam Gentry Middle, Surry County Schools, STEM Early College at NC A&T, Guilford County Schools , Wayne School of Engineering at Goldsboro High, Wayne County Schools.

Overall, 21 applications were submitted for possible recognition. Schools pursuing recognition underwent a rigorous application process that required: detailed narrative responses including strategic class documents and video evidences addressing the 11 essential attributes of quality STEM education and over 34 key elements that define the quality characteristics rooted within the attributes; a self-assessment of their school aligning to the Attribute Implementation rubric; and identification of their one best practice of educational excellence. These criteria, along with a panel of reviewers' consensus and a site visit, led to the designations.

Schools Recognized by State Board Region

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering, Wake County   
MIDDLE SCHOOL  Exploris Charter Middle School, Wake County Elkin Middle School, Elkin City Schools
Hanes Magnet Middle School, Winston-Salem/ Forsyth Schools
J Sam Gentry Middle School, Surry County
N Fries Magnet Middle School, Cabarrus County
K-8 SCHOOLContentnea- Savannah K-8 School, Lenoir County    
HIGH SCHOOL Wayne School of Engineering at Goldsboro High School, Wayne County
Greene Central High School, Greene County
Brunswick County Early College High School, Brunswick County
 Atkins Academic & Technology High School, Winston-Salem/ Forsyth Schools
STEM Early College NC A&T, Guilford County