•  Atkins Designated NC STEM School of Distinction

    The N.C. Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT) Education Center today announced it has recognized 13 schools as STEM Schools of Distinction, the highest designation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

    The STEM Schools of Distinction, a model recognition program developed jointly by the SMT Center, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the William and Ida Friday Institute for Education Innovation and the Golden LEAF Foundation, is one of the country’s most rigorous evaluation programs for identifying and recognizing exemplary STEM schools and STEM programs.

    “These schools represent the very best of the best in STEM education, not just in North Carolina but across the nation,” said Dr. Sam Houston, President and CEO of the SMT Center. “Along with several key partners, we have worked diligently with these schools to create a meaningful designation that will help other schools across the state and country become just as successful in the future.”

    The STEM Recognition Program uses a groundbreaking application process rubric, created by the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NC State University, to highlight various key attributes, or characteristics, of their STEM program. That application included required lesson plans, video evidence, class samples, and recommendations letters. A panel of nationally known educators, business leaders and other experts led the review teams, evaluated the applicants, held site visits, and recommended programs that led to the designations.