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Burroughs Wellcome grant funds STEM project

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund awarded the Wake County Public School System a $149,786, three-year Student Science Enrichment Program grant. WCPSS will infuse inquiry-based science learning into afterschool programs in five elementary and two middle schools through a new initiative called STEM Wise.

Aversboro Elementary, Forestville Road Elementary, Lincoln Heights Elementary, Smith Elementary, Stough Elementary, East Wake Middle and North Garner Middle will be a part of the grant funded afterschool program. The schools are part of the WCPSS STEM and Global Schools Collaborative Networks. The YMCA of the Triangle will partner with WCPSS in their Y Learning afterschool programs at Lincoln Heights and Stough Elementary Schools.

The goals of the STEM Wise program are to:

  • Increase student achievement in STEM disciplines;
  • Increase student access to relevant, rigorous and engaging STEM curriculum through afterschool programming;
  • Nurture student enthusiasm about science; and
  • Stimulate student interest in pursuing careers in science.

STEM Wise will use Engineering is Elementary curriculum units, developed by the Museum of Science in Boston for elementary students.

Middle school students will join afterschool clubs that will use citizen science curriculum modules being developed by the Students Discover project team (education.yourwildlife.org), led by Dr. Rob Dunn, a professor of biological sciences at NC State University. Citizen science can spark an early interest in STEM fields or careers.