Scaling STEM West Updates

It has been an exciting summer! STEM West has now extended its service area to include Region C Counties of McDowell, Rutherford, and Polk. This is in addition to: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, and Lincoln Counties. The effort was made possible with Duke Energy Foundation and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding. A few highlights:

  • 17 teachers were trained in project based learning (PBL) unit development and partnered with 12 STEM businesses from Alexander to Rutherford counties. Units will be implemented in the 2018-19 school year.

  • This summer's business partners were: Bemis, Adhezion Biomedical, City of Hickory, Caldwell UNC Health Care, City of Lenoir, Leviton, Fairfield, WestRock, Mission Health System, Baxter, ABB, Trelleborg, and the Town of Forest City

  • 30 more Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) clubs will be beginning this fall after a 4-day training this summer.

  • Over 500 parent/student contacts were made at the Morganton Historic Festival while sharing documents of STEM careers, salaries, and educational trajectories.

  • 2 days of Code.org training was held with over 20 attendees learning "unplugged" activities and introduction to a Computer Science K-5 curriculum.

  • Welcome to an AmeriCorp VISTA, Carvan Rich, who is gathering STEM program information to create an asset map to better plan STEM West efforts.

  • Alexander County attended Smithsonian's Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) to create their 5-year science education strategic plan.


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The Western Piedmont Council of Governments shall serve all local government members in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties with professional, cost-effective assistance on a variety of local, regional, state and federal issues and programs.

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