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Honoring NC STEM Schools of Distinction

In today’s modern globalized landscape, North Carolina is competing for top talent with economies from around the world. As such, it is imperative that we support effective K-12 programs that provide students with 21st-century career-training opportunities that fully prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. A critical component of this instruction is science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, especially as North Carolina solidifies its position as a leading state in cutting-edge innovation.

This #WorkReadyWednesday we’re highlighting three North Carolina schools that were honored as the 2016-2017 STEM Schools of Distinction by the State Board of Education. These schools received this designation after undergoing a rigorous application process, where they showed how their schools’ best practices excelled in the 11 attributes of quality STEM education and that they are “rooted in a culture where creativity and inquiry exists between and among students, teachers, administrators and community members with an emphasis on engaging students in a way of innovation and problem solving to seek solutions, and collaborative teamwork.” Hilburn Academy and Weatherstone Elementary of Wake County Schools were both awarded Model Level of Achievement by “systemically interweaving science, technology, engineering and mathematics into complementary coursework in the arts, career and technical education, English language arts, healthful living and world history,” while Hendersonville Elementary of Henderson County Schools was awarded Prepared Level of Achievement for “outstanding leadership and learning, which empower keen creative thinking, reasoning and teamwork.”

With stakeholders from the school systems, business community and higher education, NCDPI created this program to identify and honor the exemplary STEM programs across our state. Advancing strong STEM programs in our schools is necessary in order for North Carolina to become the number one place to find world-class talent in the global economy. On August 10, a panel of experts will discuss this notion further at our Conference on Education. The panel comprised of business and education leaders will examine strategies for workforce readiness, with a heavy focus on STEM education. As this has immediate and future implications on our state’s workforce, I encourage you to join us at the conference to hear from these experts and others as they tackle North Carolina’s education challenges. Registration ends on Tuesday, August 8 at 5:00 PM. I look forward to seeing you there.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber