New Opportunities: June 15th, 2020

The Institute for Emerging Issues
charging forward to help bridge the digital divide
First in Future
The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) is announcing the launch of BAND-NC, a grant program designed to increase the number of people with Internet in their homes, with the goal of making the state “first in digital inclusion.” The effort, in partnership with the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO), adds new investment from the John M. Belk Endowment and Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation to existing commitments from Roanoke Electric Cooperative and the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives to provide at least $300,000 in grants to
communities across the state.

Building a New Digital Economy in NC (BAND-NC) will support thirty $5,000 “rapid response community innovation grants” this summer, a series of workshops led by IEI and BIO to help communities develop “digital inclusion plans” this fall, and another thirty $5,000 “implementation” grants in 2021.

The Institute for Emerging Issues will be hosting a BAND-NC information webinar on Friday, June 19 at 9:00 a.m.
Register and join us by visiting

You can learn more about BAND-NC by visiting
Learn more and apply!

Hero Elementary

HERO ELEMENTARY,” a new PBS show produced under an ED Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Ready-to-Learn Television grant, premiered June 1 on PBS and PBS Kids. “HERO ELEMENTARY” is about a school for up-and-coming superheroes, where kids learn to master powers like flying and teleportation while exploring science along the way. A diverse group of super students works together to make the world a better place. The series will give children ages 4 to 7 important tools to help them solve problems by encouraging them to think and act like scientists. A preview episode is available now on YouTube

Smithsonian K-12 STEM Education Action Planning Institute (API) July 28-30 
The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is holding its first FREE, fully virtual leadership development event this summer, from July 28-30, and will tackle the challenge of ensuring science/STEM education remains a priority in classrooms and communities during COVID-19 and beyond. The API is open to educators, parents, community members, and industry stakeholders dedicated to ensuring continuity in K-12 STEM education for all students. Participating individuals and teams develop an action plan to guide their return to school in the fall.  Learn more and register today

NSF-funded Virtual STEM Experiences
While museums, science centers, zoos and aquaria across the nation have closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, many are bridging the social distance gap by offering a variety of free virtual resources and experiences that you can enjoy from the safety and comfort of your home.  Research shows that most learning happens outside the classroom, and NSF has long recognized the importance of these informal settings in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. A comprehensive list of NSF-funded projects with online learning products and resources provides a plethora of experiences.

Attention NCSTA Members: Do you have an idea to expand your learning or make an impact in your classroom? Do you need some funding to make your dream a reality? NCSTA can help you out!

 NCSTA Study Grant: NCSTA members who are taking study classes, attending conferences, or participating in workshops are eligible for one study grant. To receive approval of the grant request, it must be submitted before your scheduled study. NCSTA will pay only 1/2 of the expenses at varying amounts. Must be a NCSTA member for one year or more immediately prior to applying and have not received this grant within the past three years. Deadline to apply is September 1, 2020.

NCSTA Innovative Curriculum Support Grant: NCSTA members may apply for funds for supplies, materials, equipment, printing, travel and other expenses related to an innovative curriculum project involving students in a unique way. A committee will select recipients based on: innovativeness, establishment of need, realistic plan of action, ability to replicate, and the number of persons benefited. Grants up to $1,000 will be awarded.
Deadline to apply is September 1, 2020

If you are interested or want to know more information about the grants NCSTA offers, please visit. 
For questions related to grants and applications please contact Brad Rhew at

NCCCS, One Team with One Voice... Serving All 58.

This month we explore careers in Healthcare in North Carolina.  We will look at all the great careers in this area, as well as the training programs that will get you hired.

Our special guest this month is Edward E. Gordon, a nationally recognized futurist who will discuss the current skills gap and what we can do to improve our education systems to better prepare the workforce of tomorrow.

Our mission is to help get all North Carolinians on a Career Pathway that will lead to life-sustaining wages in a career they enjoy.

Our next “Raising the Awareness of Career Pathways” meeting will be this Thursday, June 18, at 9am.

Join us via webinar by registering here:

Please pass this message on to others (employers, teachers, school administrators, workforce professionals, students, parents, youth pastors) who might be interested.  It will be a good time to get your mind off the troubles of the world and look at where can put our efforts helping get people on the right Career Pathway.

Future Career Pathways meetings can be found here:  (Go ahead and register now so you don’t forget later.)

Each month we will gather to discuss the large career exploration events happening across the state, as well as explore information about job projections and predictions for the future workforce. 

If you missed our last meeting, you can watch the recording of that meeting. Future and past Career Pathway meetings, as well as handouts and PowerPoint slides are always posted here:

North Carolina is a great state, with a lot of great employers, but too many of the occupations in demand are unknown, and not enough people are in the pipeline for those careers. That’s one of the reasons we are here, to let folks know about the great jobs that are out there.

The audience for these Career Pathways meetings are the businesses who are looking for new employees, the K-12 and college educators, job seekers, and the workforce professionals who help folks turn their passion into a career and get them on a career pathway.

If you know of a big career exploration event that we should be discussing. Please let us know.

Please pass this on to others who may be interested.

If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please let us know.

I look forward to exploring Career Pathways with you each month.

Chris Droessler and the NC Perkins Team.


Chris Droessler

Career and Technical Education Coordinator

North Carolina Community College System

Online learning & Hands-on Fun with UNCW MarineQuest and Engineering Expectations

Calling all Ocean Voyagers! Come set sail with UNCW MarineQuest for a weeklong journey as we discover the world of marine science. Our expeditions will include stops in the five fields of marine science- marine chemistry, marine geology, marine biology, physical oceanography, and marine technology! Together we will explore what makes ocean water unique, where the shifting sands on our planet come from, why ocean animals make their homes in different marine habitats, and venture into the deepest parts of the sea. Each day will feature a real-life marine scientist as well as interactive virtual experiences and hands-on activities to complete at home. Come aboard, from the comfort of your home port, and join us for a memorable adventure!

For ages 7- 9 and 10 -13, MarineQuest is offering a fun exploration of the five fields of marine science with Ocean Voyagers

A typical DAY at Ocean Voyagers:

  • Morning, mid-day, and afternoon live Zoom* sessions (accessed through UNCW’s secure Canvas site) featuring group activities hosted by our MarineQuest educators. These will be interspersed with hands-on activities that campers complete at home utilizing a STEM kit that MarineQuest provides for you.


  • Investigate the properties of salt and freshwater-Get messy with our water stacking challenge!
  • Create a miniature ocean in a bottle and study waves.
  • Discover how blue whales feed and see if you can eat as much
  • Build and operate a simple submarine
  • Receive a hands-on STEM activity kit to engage in learning at home

To register or for more information including dates and pricing, please visit

For teens ages 14-17, MarineQuest is offering a two-week program focused on marine scientific research methods and career exploration.

Think you want to be a marine biologist? How about an oceanographer? Maybe you prefer marine geologist? You can explore these marine scientific career options and more during our two-week O.C.E.A.N.S. Online program.  This unique summer enrichment program for high school age students consists of virtual interactive lessons, group collaborative work, and at home hands-on experiments to immerse you in the world of marine science.  You’ll be amazed by the career options marine science has for you.

A typical DAY at O.C.E.A.N.S. on-line will include:

  • A morning AND afternoon 1.5-2-hour live Zoom meetings with our dedicated MarineQuest educators and professional marine scientists from UNCW’s Center for Marine Science.
  • 2 hours of at home experiments and activities to get you hands-on and engaged in relevant marine science research.


  • Prior to the start of the program each student will receive a kit filled with the majority of materials necessary to carry-out each activity.  You will be notified before the start of camp of any additional common household items you will need.
  • Hands-on exposure to the main fields of Marine Science including marine biology, marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography, marine technology, marine ecology, and biotechnology.
  • Design and carryout your own plankton study with phytoplankton and zooplankton you will grow at home and present your research findings at a virtual science conference!
  • Build your own paper Foldscope to magnify specimens and samples 140X.
  • Go on virtual field trips to collect and analyze data at the beach, marsh, and out on an oceanographic research cruise.
  • Meet and engage with UNCW faculty and scientists to learn about their research contributions to the field of marine science.
  • Collaborate with other students remotely to carry out experiments, discuss findings, and create a poster to be presented on the final celebratory day of the course.
  • Utilize the online learning platform used by UNCW college students.

To register or for more information including dates and pricing , please visit

UNCW Engineering Expectations Program is offering Engineering Explorations Online (Younger 7-9) & (Older 10 -13)

What words come to mind when you think of engineering? STEM, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, suspension bridges, self-driving cars, or maybe your mind draws a blank. Are you curious about what an engineer does or maybe you enjoy hands on activities that make you think outside of the box? The NEW Engineering Explorations online summer program will breakdown the main fields of engineering with interactive virtual lessons, daily design challenges, and personal conversations with professional engineers. Disciplines to be covered include mechanical, environmental, civil, electrical, and aerospace. By the end of the week, students will have developed the engineering habits of mind and sharpened their problem solving skills.

*Students will be provided a STEM kit valued at $30 and received a camp T-shirt

A typical day at Engineering Explorations Online:

  • 3 hours of morning AND afternoon interactive virtual instruction facilitated live via Zoom by our dedicated Engineering Expectations educators. 
  • Up to 1.5 hours of at home, hands-on design challenges that are related to real-world engineering projects
  • On demand assistance from instructors during offline projects
  • Meet and engage with professional engineers


  • Prior to the start of the program each student will receive a kit filled with the majority of materials necessary to carry-out each activity. You will be notified before the start of camp of any additional common household items you will need. Supplement instructions will be provide for assistance with independent activities.
  • Hands on exposure to the main disciplines of engineering including mechanical, environmental, civil, electrical, and aerospace
  • Learn about concepts such as the forces of flight, simple machines, and alternative energy
  • Meet and engage with professional engineers
  • Utilize the online learning platform used by UNCW college students

To register or for more information including dates and pricing, please visit

UNCW Engineering Expectations Program is offering Playing With Python Online (Younger 10-13) & (Older 14-17)

Are you looking to develop your programming skills? Join us this summer as we explore the fundamentals of an in-demand coding language in our Playing with Python online summer program! No previous coding experience is required as you will start with the basics of project-oriented programming with Python. Hands-on activities include coding functions to draw shapes, manipulating data structures, and designing interactive games. On the final day of camp, there will be a project showcase for parents.

*This course covers, at an accelerated pace, up to two-thirds of the curriculum that is covered in a college level introductory programming course. Students will receive a camp T-shirt.

A typical day at Playing with Python Online:

  • 4 hours of morning AND afternoon interactive virtual instruction facilitated live via Zoom by our dedicated Engineering Expectations educators. 
  • Up to 2 hours of at home, programming activities with access to instructors for support
  • Meet and engage with UNCW Computer Science Faculty and professional computer scientist


  • Prior to the start of the program each student will receive information regarding how to install software and access the online learning platform
  • Learn about fundamentals such as data manipulation, creating functions, designing interactive graphics in an engaging and guided environment
  • Make an colorful animated graphic using loop functions
  • Meet and engage with UNCW Computer Science Faculty and professional computer scientist
  • Utilize the online learning platform used by UNCW college students

To register or for more information including dates and pricing, please visit

FREE Summer Turtle Trash Collectors Programming from UNCW MarineQuest (

Michelle Hafey

Program Associate

Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

University of North Carolina Wilmington

PH: 910.962.3168

FAX: 910.962.4000

 Emails sent and received in the course of university business are subject to the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. §132-1 et seq.) and may be released to the public unless an exception applies._______________________________________________
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