Vision 2030, Fall STEM Events, and Experts at Anything: This is your e-Update

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December 15, 2016 - Volume 23


How does America, North Carolina rank in PISA?

North Carolina was one of only two states (along with Massachusetts) and Puerto Rico that elected to participate in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2015, and scores in science, reading and mathematics literacy show North Carolina is on track with the United States’ performance overall. This is the first time North Carolina has participated in PISA. Nationally, the results released this month reveal the United States ranks 35th in mathematics, 15th in reading, and 18th in science. View the full international results here. More than half a million students, representing 28 million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies, took the two-hour test in 2015. Students were assessed in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy. The PISA is a system of international assessments that allows countries to compare outcomes of learning as students near the end of compulsory schooling. The assessments are given to a sample of participating nations and states every three years. The United States has participated in every cycle of PISA since it began in 2000. View the full announcement and detailed results for North Carolina from NCDPI. To see the distribution of participating education systems and how their PISA performance compared to each other, click on this chart. Tweet us @NCSTEM with suggestions or thoughts about this issue or future ones. Happy holidays and enjoy your e-Update!


Application period opens for 2017-18 Kenan fellowships

The Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership is accepting online applications for the 2017-18 fellowship year through Jan. 16, 2017.



Mount Airy City Schools teacher wins 'Oscar of Teaching'

The holiday season just got a lot jollier for Amanda Robertson, who teaches math to fourth graders at Jones Intermediate School in Mount Airy City Schools. Robertson recently received North Carolina’s 2016 Milken Educator Award.



Golden LEAF scholarship applications are now available

Golden LEAF scholarship applications are now available online. Deadline is Wednesday, March 1. A total of 215 awards will be offered to first-time recipients to assist with tuition at participating institutions for the 2017-18 academic year.



WICHE release projections of high school graduates

For 40 years, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, or WICHE, has produced Knocking at the College Door, projections of high school graduates. In the latest report, North Carolina is the 10th highest producer of high school graduates with 103,600 high school graduates, on average, projected per year between school years 2011-12 and 2031-32.


STEM Spotlight

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Competition


How are you challenging your STEM students this year? For 25 years, Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision has encouraged teams of K-12 students and teachers to create future technologies that improve society—all while aligning with the Next Generation Science Standards. Winning teams receive $10,000 U.S. Savings Bonds, an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to present their ideas to scientific leaders and more. All K-12 students and teachers in the U.S. and Canada are eligible for ExploraVision. Click the image above or this link to learn more about the competition.

Resources & Tools


North Carolina Statewide STEM Strategy

STEM Education Data and Trends

The Connectory


Elementary STEM Implementation Rubric

Middle School STEM Implementation Rubric

High School STEM Implementation Rubric

STEM Attributes for North Carolina Schools

NC STEM ScoreCard


U.S. Department of Education

North Carolina Network of Grantmakers

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

NC STEM Center Funding Resources


STEM Grants & Awards

NEF CyberLearning STEM Grants for schools

NEF’s STEM+ Academy Grant

PPG Industries Foundation Education and Community Grants

STEM Trivia

Last issue's STEM Trivia question: What happens at exactly 5:44 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016? The answer: The sun will be at its most southern point in the sky for the year. This is the winter solstice and marks the first moment of winter. Thanks for participating and all the correct answers!

Let's see how well you do with this week's question ...

What meteorological event in the North Atlantic ocean was report this week by the WMO?

Think you know the answer? Click here to submit your response to @NCSTEM. If you choose not to click that link, please include the word "answer" in your tweet so we can find it (the link will automatically do so for you). We’ll announce winners in the next e-Update!


Upcoming STEM Events

What's New?

The NC STEM Center has entered into a partnership with The Connectory, the go-to place for families to discover local STEM opportunities for the children in their lives and for program providers to find partners with which to collaborate. Visit Find Opportunities to browse other upcoming opportunities.

Events Calendar

Chapel Hill Math Circle Workshop for Teachers

InnovateNC: Greensboro Convening

EdCamp STEM West: The Unconference

2017 Emerging Issues Focus Forum: kidoNomiCs

NC TIES Conference 2017

E2 Summit: Connecting Employers & Educators

USA Science & Engineering Festival

Extreme X-STEM Symposium

United States of Anchors: SHLB's 7th Annual Conference

Do you have an event coming up and want people to know about it?

Send us your event information to include in a future NC STEM e-Update

Thank You!

Regional STEM Resources

Science Fun for Everyone

Science Fun For Everyone is a team of passionate professionals with degrees in science and/or education, who have experience working with children in many different settings. Last year alone, the SFFE team brought these fun and educational experiences to more than 80,000 students in the Triangle area. Click on the image below or the orange "read more" button to learn more about this valuable STEM resource in North Carolina.


Learn more more about STEM programs in your community, click here. Become a member of NC STEM Center today. Joining is free and easy. Logged-in members get access to grant opportunities and the ability to promote their STEM programs and events.




Have STEM News or an Event to Share?

The NC STEM Center is a web portal for all things related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in North Carolina.
It is a project of North Carolina SMT Center in collaboration with North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina Community College System, UNC General Administration, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and others.

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