Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as North Carolina STEM Education Month to show support for the students, leaders and organizations in the science, technology, engineering and math fields across our state.
“We’re focused on ensuring that our students have the tools and training they need to succeed,” said Governor Cooper. “Learning about science, technology, engineering and math expands horizons, teaches new skills and prepares students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The Governor is working to expand access to STEM education across the state. In April 2018, Governor Cooper joined the bipartisan Governors’ Partnership for K-12 Computer Science. As a member, the Governor is committed to working with other state education leaders to support the development of K-12 computer science programs and expand computer science professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers. In 2020, the State Board of Education adopted K-12 computer science standards to provide a core structure for computer science classes.
Governor Cooper has encouraged North Carolina high school students to explore careers in cybersecurity by promoting CyberStart America, a free online competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and SANS Institute. In 2019, the Department of Administration also launched the Lady Cardinal Mentorship Program for women in high school interested in pursuing STEM careers.
In November 2021, the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) hosted the STEM Connect Conference to provide professional development to STEM and CTE educators during remote and hybrid learning. STEMConnect was part of a series of conferences to support educators and more than 650 middle and high school STEM and Career Technical Education educators from over 90 counties attended this conference. Sessions from all of the remote learning conferences were recorded and available to NC teachers, and more than 28,000 educators have logged in to access these recordings.
Through the NC Student Connect program, NCBCE has also launched Tech Team, a student technology help desk program to support school districts’ transition to remote learning. Through this program, students receive training, earn industry valued certifications, and participate in an IT support internship through their school district. There were 10 pilot school districts that participated in 2020 and 2021, and NCBCE is working to expand the program to additional districts.
For the third year in a row NCBCE has partnered with Lenovo to host the Ready, Set, App! competition. Ready, Set, App! is an android mobile app building competition open to all NC High Schoolers. Students create teams, then design and code an app to solve an issue they’ve observed in their school or community. This year’s competition has teams from across 20 counties. The Final Pitch Competition, where teams pitch their apps to industry professionals for the chance to win Lenovo branded prizes, will be held in early May.
In partnership with the Governor’s Office and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, NCBCE launched LiNC-IT: Linking North Carolina with Innovative Talent. LiNC-IT is a collaborative between the Office of the Governor, UNC TEACCH Autism Center, The Autism Society of NC, NCDHHS, NCOSHR, NCCDD, and employers to connect early career adults on the autism spectrum with internships. Many of the internships are in stem-related fields. LiNC-IT has placed more than 50 individuals in full-time internships, and more than 90% of the interns have been hired on in a full-time capacity.
Read the proclamation here.