New Opportunities for April 2024!

The final stretch is upon us!!

Please check out all the new opportunities to enlarge your network, improve your craft, and engage students in STEM to end this year with excitement!

Please feel free to share this with colleagues who are also interested in resources related to STEM Education! If you have not been receiving this newsletter regularly, go to STEMWest | Building partnerships to improve regional economy! and fill out the short pop up! 

Share this opportunity freely with your families and organizations! There will be many STEM businesses and organizations there sharing hands on activities and giveaways focused on STEM and STEM careers! The first 100 families will receive an activity to take home to continue their INNOVATION Exploration! 

NCSciFest Logo - Color

BWF: SSEP Grant Cycle NOW Open!!

Thank you for your interest in the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP). This message is to inform you that applications are now being accepted for the program.

The SSEP aims to support a variety of programs with a shared objective: to facilitate participation of primary and secondary students in engaging STEM activities. These activities are designed to foster creativity and hands-on exploration in the field of science, particularly within the state of North Carolina, where the Burroughs Wellcome Fund is based. Each award offers funding of up to $60,000 annually for a duration of three years.

The SSEP awards are intended to support programs that offer career-oriented and practical experiences, providing enrichment opportunities for K-12 students who exhibit exceptional aptitude and interest in STEM, as well as those with high potential. Recognizing the value of after-school programs in bridging opportunity gaps for underserved and underrepresented students, we encourage proposals that enable students to engage in hands-on STEM activities and pursue inquiry-based learning. We believe this approach is effective in enhancing students’ understanding and appreciation of the scientific process.

To promote academic achievement, proposed programs should have a clearly defined structure aligned with the school-day curriculum, along with well-trained staff and provisions for student follow-up.

Should you have any inquiries regarding your proposal, please feel free to reach out to Samantha Moore ([email protected]) or Alfred Mays ([email protected]).

Thank you once again for your interest in the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

What if you could increase engagement, improve behavior, and meet more required standards in your classroom – in just a snap? Coding with the Finch Robot is a Snap!, and we can’t wait to share it all with you!
Register today* and receive a FREE Finch Robot.
Dates: July 15 – August 2 (M, W, and F)
Cost: Free
*You must have a Pathfinders account to register for this course. Creating a Pathfinders account is free and easy. To register:
Create a Pathfinders account.
2. Once logged in, visit the 
Coding with Finch is a Snap! page and click REGISTER NOW.


Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids™ Program

Why teach about lead in water in the classroom?  

Exposure to lead can have lifelong health impacts, and children are particularly susceptible to these harmful effects. Schools across the state are checking for lead hazards through the Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids™ program, a legislatively mandated effort to address lead and asbestos hazards in North Carolina public schools, licensed childcare centers, and licensed family childcare homes. This presents a timely opportunity to educate children and families about lead in water, how it gets there, and what we can do about it. If lead hazards are identified in a building, actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the hazard.

A new set of K-12 curricular activities support state standards across disciplines, in social studies, ELA, math, and science.

These curriculum support materials are designed to engage students, teachers, parents, and the school community in the lead exposure prevention work that has been ongoing in North Carolina schools through the Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids™ program. These materials will be piloted with educators across North Carolina during the Spring of 2024, and fully available in the Fall of 2024.

Access the materials and join the pilot here! For more information please contact Ashley Allen with RTI International at [email protected].

The Great American Solar Eclipse!

The National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) has free resources to share for teachers, students, and parents about the total solar eclipse that will occur in the United States on April 8, 2024.

NSTA Eclipse Resources

This April, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is hosting TWO competitions. Check out these fun opportunities to win awesome prizes below!

April Teacher Social Media Competition
Teachers! Throughout the month of April, we want to know how you make STEM more accessible to diverse groups of students in your classrooms! To enter the contest, follow ORISE on 
social media, fill out this very short survey, and comment your answer on the post!
From the list of all teachers who participate, THREE winners will be chosen at random to receive an iPad 9 and Apple Pencil! The three winners will be announced on social media and via email mid-May! The deadline to enter the contest is April 30, 2024, at 11:59 P.M. EST.
If you have any questions, please contact us at 
[email protected].

April Cosmic Energy K-12 Student Competition
Calling all students! There’s a universe of knowledge out there, and we’re inviting you to explore it! Dive into our article on energy in space, answer the cosmic call with your answers, and you could win some stellar prizes! Throughout the month of April, we want you to learn a little more about the types of energy in space and then answer some questions To enter this contest, read through this article and then fill out this survey.
From the list of all students who participate, THREE winners will be chosen at random to receive an iPad Mini (with case and screen protector) and a 3D printing pen kit (includes the pen, mat, and extra filament)! The three winners will be announced via email mid-May! The deadline to enter the contest is April 30, 2024, at 11:59 P.M. EST.
If you have any questions, please contact us at 
[email protected].

Ashley Waycaster
Education Intern
STEM Workforce Development

Free PhET Apps and Teacher PD for
Title 1 and CEP Schools

Thanks in part to a generous grant from Verizon, the PhET for Schools Access Program provides eligible Title 1 and Community Eligibility Provision public school districts and schools access to the PhET iOS and Android/Chromebook apps at no cost for the 2024-2025 school year, enabling districts and schools to install the apps on school-issued compatible iPad, Chromebook, and Android devices. The program also provides optional opportunities for free teacher professional development to help teachers learn how to use PhET simulations effectively in their classrooms. Register for an Informational Session on April 8, 8-8:30 pm ET or April 9, 3:15-3:45 pm ET.

Priority deadline: April 30, 2024. Applications will be accepted and awarded on a rolling basis thereafter so long as spots remain.

Learn More and Apply


               Register here:                      Register here:                                 Register here:

          Share flyer                                         Share flyer                                     Share flyer

 Contact: Tammy Lackey         Contact: Tammy Lackey        Contact: Lisa Ashe/Joe Reaper

  [email protected]                     [email protected]   [email protected]

Dear NC Elementary Science Educator,You are cordially invited to the First Annual North Carolina Elementary Science Education Summit, a Zoom-based event sponsored in partnership with the Mathematics and Science Education Center at Appalachian State University.

Our hope is to create a space for Elementary Science Educators from across NC to gather to:

  • Network and build connections with each other 
  • Discuss implications of the new state science standards for our work
  • Share resources for elementary science education

We plan to meet on Zoom on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 from 1:30-3:00PM.
If you are interested in attending, please email Leslie Bradbury at 
[email protected]. She will send you the calendar invite and Zoom link for the event.
Please note that we did our best to find the elementary science educators at UNC System schools, but we want this event to be open to any NC Elementary Science Educator who wishes to attend, so please feel free to share this email with others.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Leslie Bradbury and Rachel Wilson
Dept. of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum
Appalachian State University

Erin Barnette
RCOE Graduate Assistant
[email protected]

Get Involved

Elevate Your Curriculum With AeroEducate

Looking for activities to keep your students engaged at the end of the school year? Getting a jump-start on planning curriculum for next school year?

Find an AeroEducate STEM activity that fits into your lesson plans today!

Using the engineering design process in each of our activities, your students will answer questions like:

  • How does shape reduce drag?
  • How does moving air create lift?
  • How does friction affect motion?
  • How does the design of propeller blades affect thrust?
  • And more!

Log in today and start charting your course with AeroEducate activities!


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