Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as STEM Education Month in North Carolina to highlight the positive impacts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and recognize STEM educators across the state that are preparing students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
“STEM educators prepare the workforce of the future and provide students opportunities to gain the skills they need for good-paying careers,” Governor Cooper said. “We’re going to keep working to ensure teachers and students have the tools they need to succeed.”
Governor Cooper is focused on investing in schools, teachers and students in North Carolina. In March 2023, the Governor announced his proposed budget which includes substantial investments in public schools and in providing a sound basic education for every student as required by the constitution. The Governor’s budget includes significant investments in teacher pay that would make North Carolina first in the Southeast in teacher pay and 16th in the nation.
In May 2022, Governor Cooper joined together with NGA Chair Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Governors from around the country to sign the Compact to Expand K-12 Computer Science Education. As a part of that Compact, the nation’s Governors agreed to increase the number of high schools offering computer science courses, to allocate funding to K-12 computer science education, to create pathways to postsecondary opportunities in computer science, and to provide equitable access to computer science education for all students. In August 2022, Governor Cooper attended the Digital Government Summit and recognized six North Carolina National Cyber Scholars in the 2022 Cyber Start America competition.
Using GEER funds, the Governor funded and launched Tech Team, a student technology help desk program to support school districts’ transition to remote learning. The program is managed by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE). Through Tech Team, students receive training, earn industry valued certifications, and participate in an IT support internship through their school district. There are currently 24 active teams with over 600 student participants.
Since 2019, NCBCE has partnered with Lenovo to bring the students of North Carolina, Ready, Set, App!, a mobile app building competition. Ready, Set, App! is open to all NC high school students regardless of tech experience, and provides each team with supplemental tools and a dedicated intern to support them throughout the competition. This year, 65 teams from across 19 counties joined the competition.
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 collaboration between the Office of the Governor, UNC TEACCH Autism Center, The Autism Society of NC, NC Council on Developmental Disabilities and employers to connect early career adults on the autism spectrum with internships, many of which are in STEM fields.
Read the proclamation here.