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STEMEAST: Education Partners

School District Leadership

Superintendents from our member school districts serve on our Eastern North Carolina Employers and Educators Council where they collaborate with regional STEM employers. Together they seek out programming which provide students with the knowledge and skills required for our regional workforce.

Community College Leadership

Presidents from our member Community Colleges serve on our Eastern North Carolina Employers and Educators Council where they work alongside our school districts to collaborate with regional STEM employers. Together they seek out programming which provides students with the knowledge and skills required for our regional workforce.


Our regional teachers are dedicated to enriching student's lives with practical, real world experiences designed to equip them with skills that prepare them as the future workforce of eastern North Carolina. STEM East strives to provide teachers with appropriate instructional tools and professional learning opportunities needed to use those tools effectively. 

STEM East Initiatives


Industry in Schools provides an opportunity for teachers to engage with regional industry to design instructional programming and classroom activities that align with curriculum standards. The program is designed to assist teachers with STEM content integration while letting students gain insight into our regional career pathways. Separate academies will be developed around career clusters that are important to eastern North Carolina.

SSoD Partners.png

The NC Department of Public Instruction supplies a unique framework for schools to use in working toward being recognized as a STEM School of Distinction (SSoD). To assist schools in our region with a better understanding of the STEM rubric, we provide virtual and onsite support and regional planning workshops. Based on engaging and research-proven teaching practices, SSoD is a model for K-12 whole-school reform that assists students with understanding the world around them and the 


As schools were forced to move to virtual learning we were able to continue to support instructional planning tour our Inquiry Design Studio and museums@home programs. Teachers were invited to virtual design spaces with content experts from our regional museums to create instructional activities that aligned with content standards being taught over the coming weeks. Museums provided planning and materials support as well as a virtual family STEM night.

In collaboration with the NC STEM Ecosystem partners and the Franklin Institute we provide training for area libraries, museums and schools to facilitate Leap into Science workshops for students and their families. Leap into Science is focused on early childhood literacy by using read-aloud books that are extended into meaningful hands-on science activities. Students are provided with age appropriate insight into science concepts such as wind, balance and light and shadow.

Middle School


Several years of partnership investments have supported STEM Labs in more than 90% of the STEM East middle schools. The STEM Labs provide a unique method for skills development, STEM career exploration and act as a college/career pathway focal point for students. Regional employers are actively engaged in this connection to future employees by directly supporting these labs and programs. In many cases employers were integral to the design of specific modules used to sharpen needed workforce skills.

Each of the STEM East school districts is invited to attend a Strategic Planning Institute hosted by the Smithsonian Science Education Center using grant funds from our partners at Duke Energy and the NC SMT Center.  Districts were able to create a K-12 STEM education strategic plan to better align their district efforts including core STEM curriculum and CTE programming. Cross district collaboration has emerged as one of the many positive aspects of their strategic planning efforts.

STEM Program


In order to evaluate the effectives of any instructional program requires that districts gather and analyze impact data. To help districts with creating a program evaluation plan we are working with a team at NCSU Friday Institute through a generous grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation. Each district planning team is provided assistance with creating a program logic model which includes evaluative procedures for revision and improvement.

Science Pilot


STEM East schools districts are invited to participate in pilot implementation of a kit-based inquiry science curriculum. Participating teachers are provided training in inquiry teaching and access to kit curriculum.



Leadership across our STEM East school districts starts with classroom teachers. As experts in their craft they are continually improving their skills in effectively guiding student instruction. STEM East has partnered with the Kenan Fellows Program to help identify and recognize these master teachers. Kenan Fellows are provided with opportunities to expand their STEM knowledge and skills while being prepared as teacher leaders who guide instructional planning and professional development.

Educator Thoughts

"STEM education is about engaging the minds of our students so they can see connections between what they are learning and the increasingly complex and information driven world that we live in.  Developing a coherent STEM strategy for our schools requires us to move beyond basic knowledge of the four disciplines of STEM to a place where students are using the skills they develop in class to discover, analyze and solve problems connected to the world beyond the school walls."

Fritz Robinett / Science Specialist / Pitt County Schools

"STEM East is important to the region because it provides opportunity for synergy and collaboration among a host of education and economic stakeholders.  Through central coordination, STEM East provides opportunities for small rural communities to pool education resources, leverage investments, gain economies of scale and collectively have a greater impact together than they ever could alone or in isolation.  STEM East turns the dream of investing in and growing your own into a reality.

Alfred Mays / Science Programming Officer / Burroughs Wellcome Fund

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