STEM Tools

The NC STEM Learning Network, the NC Department of Public Instruction, the William & Ida Friday Institute for Education Innovation, the Golden LEAF Foundation and others have developed a comprehensive list of STEM attributes. These attributes – a checklist of characteristics that are hallmarks of programmatic quality in STEM education – are based on local, state and national research and public feedback from 125 practitioners, educators, and business leaders.
The attributes have three pillars:

  • Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum, aligned with state, national, international and industry standards.
  • On-going community and industry engagement
  • Connections with postsecondary education

These attributes have been adopted by the NC State Board of Education and will serve as the standard measure of quality STEM programs in the state.

Along with the STEM Attributes, STEM Implementation Rubrics have been developed to assist schools or programs in learning the steps necessary to be a quality STEM school or program.



The N.C. Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Education Center has recognized 7 schools as “STEM Schools of Distinction”, the highest designation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in North Carolina.

Three of those schools have been selected at the “Model Level of Achievement”, the recognition program’s highest level. Those schools are:

James Kenan Sr. High School, Duplin County Schools
Riverside Middle School, Martin County Schools
East Cary Middle School, Wake County Schools

The four schools receiving the “Prepared Level” are:

Greene Central High School, Greene County Schools
Wake STEM Early College High School, Wake County Schools
Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering, Wake County Schools
Atkins Academic and Technology High School, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Schools or programs interested in being recognized by the NC State Board of Education as STEM Schools or STEM Programs can submit an application using the above rubrics. Below is a link to the STEM Program Recognition Packet.  Schools may wish to familiarize themselves with the process, which will open again later this year.



“Do It Yourself” Guide to STEM Community Engagement

The Do-It-Yourself” Guide to STEM Community Engagement provides schools, districts, and local community organizations with self-guided tools to engage a broad community of stakeholders in sustainable education innovation. This guide and related tools are informed by numerous researched sources and successful implementations in North Carolina communities – some of which are highlighted in this resource.