Initial Publication Date: August 8, 2013

Center for STEM Education (C-STEM) at East Carolina University

The Center for STEM Education (C-STEM) at East Carolina University has a long history (over 30 years) of service to eastern North Carolina. Our past success has mainly been in the support of teacher education in science and mathematics. C-STEM at ECU began in 1984 as part of the North Carolina Mathematics Science Education Network (NC-MSEN) with a mission to served middle and high school teachers; provide professional development to an assigned specific service region; ensure that K-12 educational needs would be met; and collaborate to implement statewide initiatives. In 2009 the NC-MSEN was defunded, however some NC institutions maintained the mission of NC-MSEN in various forms.

Profile submitted by Shawn Moore

Vision and Mission

The VISION of the C-STEM is to be a resource to improve the quality and quantity of K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning that leads to college and career readiness in eastern North Carolina. This vision will be accomplished by the MISSION to 1) Establish relationships among business and industry, the educational community, government agencies, and the general public, 2) Provide educational services for students, teachers, and faculty to advance the mission of the Center for STEM Education, 3) To secure funding from federal agencies, private foundations, and businesses and industries and 4) Utilize best research practices and sound evaluation methods to assess the Center for STEM Education's impact of the STEM enterprise.

C-STEM Goals & Structure

Currently, C-STEM has three primary foci 1) to provide quality innovative professional learning experiences for teachers in our service region 2) engage in outreach activities that promote STEM related teaching, learning and workforce development 3) engage in scholarship that develops research-based innovative educational technologies and tools, develop educational materials for the global marketplace and to better understand authentic inter-disciplinary engagement.

C-STEM is an office in the College of Education and is a recognized UNC System Center in order to "strengthen and enrich programs around the core mission or research, service, and instructions; enhance opportunities for faculty, staff and students; heightened economic impact and societal well-being in Eastern North Carolina and the State; increase efficiency; and reduce duplication of effort."

C-STEM consists of a director, assistant director, director of grants and special projects, science programs coordinator, finance office and office manager.

Description of Programming

  • Summer Ventures in Science & Mathematics 2018

o An inter-institutional program of the UNC System for all rising high school juniors and seniors. Students will undertake investigative studies for a four week residential summer research experience. The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation in 1984 which created Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics (SVSM). It was conceived as a cost-free enrichment program for academically motivated high school students potentially interested in a career in science or mathematics. SVSM would provide participants resident experiences on university campuses during the summer. The Summer Ventures program was placed under the administration of NC General Administration with coordinating and supervisory roles delegated to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. Four campuses host the Summer Ventures Program with each site having its own director.

o In the summer of 2017 we hosted 70 high-performing North Carolina rising juniors and seniors. The students took courses and engaged in research in DNA Fingerprinting, 3D Printing and Design, Neuroscience, Physics, Archaeology, and Biomedical Research. This summer 2018, we will host 70 students.

  • Science Olympiad 2018

o North Carolina Science Olympiad (NCSO) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to attract and retain the pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. This is a long standing partnership with ECU and the Center for STEM Education. These tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of different hands-on, interactive, challenging and inquiry-based events that are well balanced between the various disciplines of biology, earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, engineering and technology.

o In 2018, the Center for STEM Education hosted more than 950 students, teachers, and parents, representing 25 schools from the following counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrell, Washington, Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, and Northampton.

o The challenging and self-motivating events of the Science Olympiad tournament align with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study as well as the National Science Education Standards. The events are designed to enhance and strengthen both science content and process skills.

  • Advanced Placement Summer Institute 2017

o The ECU APSI is a College Board endorsed non-residential summer institute. Each session is 4-days long. These courses are taught by a certified College Board consultant. This program offers advanced training in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, Environmental Science, and Statistics. In response to our district partners, the following non-STEM courses have been offered: English Language, English Literature, Studio Art, U.S. History, and Psychology.

o 85 teachers from across North Carolina, as well as surrounding states attended the program.

Custom Teacher Professional Development

· The Center for STEM Education has invested and established a mechanism for a fee-for-service model to better meet the STEM professional development needs of teachers in our service area. For example, during the spring 2016 semester, the C-STEM developed and deployed a 30 hour PD workshop for middle school teachers focused on force & motion, from the engineering perspective and using robotics as a tool. The teachers were awarded CEUs from out Office of Educator Preparation.

o We have also sponsored a group of faculty to develop a PD session on Elementary Science Discourse, in fall of 2016. We have developed PD modules using 3D-printing and design for 6 grade through 12 grade science teachers and CTE teachers.

STEM Education Resource Library (SERL)

· C-STEM provides access to over five thousand STEM instructional resources available for loan using our on-line management system. In addition to books, our library consists of equipment and supplies, from magnets, calculators, and rulers, to Vernier products and many other materials that can be useful within the classroom. Our library allows stakeholders (primarily teachers and pre-service teachers) in our service region access to STEM materials they do not normally have.


Looking Forward

C-STEM is on a very positive trajectory with a recent relocation into a new building, strong partnerships with the faculty across campus, including our School of Medicine and a recent involvement with our Division of Research, Economic Development & Engagement, with the development of research clusters, faculty-led pan-university groups of research teams with specific research agendas to accelerate the growth of interdisciplinary research and progress towards meeting strategic goals set by the UNC System and ECU. C-STEM is involved with the STEAM Education Research Cluster focuses on the teaching and learning of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) content and pedagogy. Our emphasis is on research-based innovative technologies and tools, authentic inter-disciplinary engagement, and the creation of educational materials for the global marketplace. Through regional and global partnerships, we engage in transformative research related to teacher preparation and enhancement, college and workforce readiness, and public understanding of STEAM and its impact in their community resulting in the creation of new knowledge and best practices.

C-STEM is also involved in many grant proposals submitted by faculty throughout the university, serving as PI, Co-PI, senior personnel, and program evaluator.

2012-13_annual_report.doc (Microsoft Word PRIVATE FILE 66kB Jul22 13)