New Opportunities: July 9, 2021


NSHSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching Grant | National Society of High School Scholars for $1500!

Hear from NASA Astronauts at the International Space Station Monday, July 12!

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is hosting a live Downlink with NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station! Tune in live on Monday morning, July 12, for this Space Station in-flight education downlink event!  Astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough will be answering questions – while they’re in outer space! – from North Carolina school kids.

The Downlink is scheduled to start at 11:40 am.

To learn more and view the live stream click here

NCSTA Reflector Newsletter

This Newsletter highlights educators around the state, has grant offerings for members of NCSTA, and highlights upcoming science events and competitions.

Resource for Classroom Speakers: Barnhill Contracting Company–Western Division

Contact: April Thomas @
Chad Webb+B4:D18B4:D19B4:D20B4:D21B4:D22B4:D23BB4:D25Vice PresidentStarted as a Carpenters Helper – carrying a tool belt, Put himself through college 
April ThomasBusiness DevelopmentRaised in this industry – Site and Civil Background – CAT Motorgrader at age 3 
  Administration Side of the Business, Marketing, Communications Strength – Process Driven
Drew RintlemannDirector of Talent and SafetyRaised in this industry – Safety Background – exceptional field knowledge 
  Recruits for Barnhill Contracting Company – knows what the industry wants in employees
John David GambleProject ManagerProject Manager at NCSSM 
  extensive field knowledge
Chad Barrow Project ManagerPhysics Degree from NCSU
  uses his degree to solve problems at NCSSM
  certified DRONE pilot –  uses the Drone for site layout on projects – gives a visual overview 
  of a particular project 
  has a full grasp of all areas of technology and how it used on all aspects of the project 
Eric PondPreconstruction Managerserved in the US Army
  used the GI Bill for his degree at Texas A&M 
  certified DRONE Pilot 
  takes a set of plans works with subcontractors to put together pricing for a project – 
  has information on all specs for all types of projects 
Kenny Hinkle SupterintendentGraduated #1 in his class for NCSU- Civil Engineering – Construction Management
  worked at Barnhill through his college career and joined after graduation – extemely smart, 
  process driven, and exceptional communication skills 
Perry WhitfordGeneral Superintendent 20 + year career at Barnhill
  currently at NCSSM as General Superintendent 
  exceptional at coaching younger employees on the best Barnhill and Construction Practices 

Model STEM School of Distinction

You deserve to be the next NC STEM School of Distinction!

Many schools across our state engage quality STEM instruction; maximizing community partnerships and driving opportunities for students, developing the skills necessary for future success. NC DPI and the NC State Board of Education want to recognize each and every school that exemplifies the qualities associated with STEM success.

The STEM Schools Progress Rubric serves as an incredible tool for self-assessment and school improvement and is the key to achievement for STEM schools in North Carolina.

Schools who self-assess at the Prepared or Model level of achievement, based on the Rubric, are encouraged to complete an Intent to Apply with NC DPI. Applications for the 2021-2022 SY open August 1st. This intent does not obligate the school, but instead, allows the opportunity for receiving additional information and resources toward becoming recognized as one of North Carolina’s finest in STEM education.

Interested schools should complete their Intent no later than October 8, 2021.  Please contact Howard Ginsburg at should you have further questions.

More Than a Recognition Program

The STEM Schools Progress Rubric is a strategic planning document that is valuable for any school or program within a school that wants to improve STEM teaching and learning.

To get the most out of the STEM rubric, consider the following:

  • The rubric is an instrument to be used by the whole school rather than an individual. It requires the input and perspective of various stakeholders within the school as well as outside such as parents, business partners, and community members.
  • Successful applicants for the School of Distinction have spent a minimum of six months gathering artifacts and data and soliciting input from stakeholders.
  • After all the evidence has been gathered, it’s usually best if no more than one or two people complete the application. At least one person inside the school and one person outside the school should review the final application before submission. 
  • There is no specific number of artifacts that should be submitted. The best guidance is to consider whether a reviewer will have enough information to determine that the school is meeting the metrics of the rubric.

Schools interested in the opportunity to submit an application providing narrative and artifactual evidence of their distinguished STEM approaches to leading and learning should obtain a copy of the STEM Schools Progress Rubric. Schools should self-assess their performance across the five Overarching Principles and the Key Elements within and engage purposefully within their school improvement process. Applications for the 2021-22 school year will be available beginning August 1st.

North Carolina STEM Explorers

Seeking Teachers and Students for TV Opportunity

Cam Productions (Raleigh) is developing a new weekly STEM production targeting North Carolina middle school standards. Each engaging and interactive 30-minute episode will focus on STEM applications across North Carolina, with content formatted to be used independently from the tv show (ie.. classroom, website, etc…).

Core STEM concepts will be explored through a variety of experiments and demonstrations. Additionally, each episode will highlight STEM-related missions from various organizations across the state, as well as include a ‘Career Moment’ in which a North Carolina STEM professional will share their career path, from interest to education and internships leading into the job that they love.

Cam productions is seeking teachers and (middle school) students who are ready to help develop self-identity in North Carolina’s youth as STEM workers and overcome ethnic/gender stereotypes. Charismatic individuals ready to share compelling STEM activities, stories, and positive experiences are encouraged to reach out for more information on how they can help build a prepared STEM workforce for North Carolina’s future.

Contact Mike Ousley at for more information.

Smoky Mountains STEM Collaborative Newsletter

July 2021 newsletter.pdf offers resources, live streaming events, etc.

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