North Carolina New Schools is committed to advancing quality STEM education — shorthand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in all partner schools and districts across the state. But a focus on STEM doesn’t mean simply loading up students with more courses in science and math.
For us, it means creating a fundamentally different approach to teaching and learning, particularly in science and mathematics. By providing intensive, customized professional development for educators, we work to enhance rigor and STEM skills development for students and provide explicit connections to higher education and to business and industry.
Learn more about STEMAccelerator, our new partnership with teacher leaders, higher education and industry from across the state, to accelerate proven STEM education approaches and develop new ones designed around emerging practices and standards in mathematics and science education.
Our vision for STEM-focused innovation calls for schools and districts that:
- Provide the tools and space for exploration and invention
- Foster a culture of inquiry among students and teachers
- Emphasize connections in the fields of math and science
- Meaningfully integrate technology
- Engage students in the engineering design process
- Make explicit connections with business, industry and higher education to link student and teacher learning with current practice
- Incorporate the arts and humanities to further support the STEM focus and highlight the role of STEM in our global society
This approach ensures that tomorrow’s workforce will have the key skills and experience — including critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration and communication — needed for future success.
A New Economy
STEM fields are critical drivers in today’s highly competitive, knowledge-based economy. By the year 2018, eight million STEM job openings are expected, spanning healthcare, aerospace, advanced metalwork and precision manufacturing, advanced engine repair and maintenance, laboratory occupations, and computer-related design, manufacturing and repair. However, only 17 percent of high school students are graduating with the demonstrated interest and math skills to begin a STEM college major, and only half of those will actually complete a STEM degree.
Scaling STEM Strategies
Since 2007, NC New Schools has helped support nearly 40 STEM-themed high schools in North Carolina and has provided STEM-focused curriculum and training to other partner schools throughout the state. Today we are bringing STEM strategies to all our partner schools and districts to ensure that every student graduates ready for the future. We also align stakeholders, including state and local school officials and school board members, community college leaders, university officials and partners from private industry, to secure funding, job-specific training and STEM-focused instructional resources for students and teachers.