SummerSTEM is a collaboration between WakeEd Partnership, the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), and numerous STEM businesses and organizations in North Carolina. This eight-day professional development program exists to enrich the educator’s understanding of the knowledge and skills that are necessary to succeed in STEM careers.

During SummerSTEM, one-hundred educators from WCPSS schools engage in hands-on experiences designed to bring real-world lessons to the classroom.

For one week during the summer, they are immersed in STEM organizations to experience industry practices and in Wake Technical Community College classrooms to experience college-level applied STEM instruction. Throughout the year, mentors coach SummerSTEM educators in lesson design and project-based learning.

Professional Development Opportunities for Educators:

  • Direct instruction in project-based learning
  • Investigation in community college instruction in applied STEM fields
  • Immersion in STEM work settings with STEM professionals
  • Coaching in lesson design using feedback protocols
  • Leadership experiences aligned with National Teacher Leader Model Standards

Community Engagement Opportunities for Businesses:

  • Create interactive immersion experiences for educators that demonstrate the relationship between the classroom and the business world
  • Support educators as they implement their SummerSTEM experiences into their classrooms
  • Become a program sponsor so that more educators can attend SummerSTEM

WakeEd’s Annual STEMposium

STEMposium is an annual STEM symposium that highlights educator experiences and outcomes from SummerSTEM. Inspired educators and their students present their successful project-based learning units to the public.


“I cannot wait to put into practice all that I have learned. The businesses and Wake Tech Community College provided amazing opportunities for real-world application and inspired me to think bigger!

“This has been amazing! We have developed an ambitious project that we hope can incorporate all grade levels. We have been so energized by the support and resources we gained from this program.”

“So thankful for this amazing experiences! I feel like a better educator, ready to challenge my students. I can’t wait to help the develop their 21st century skills to prepare them for life in and outside the classroom.”

“The ability for a company to completely breakdown their business and connect every piece of it to a classroom project or classroom functionality is impressive, maybe even career-changing.”

“SummerSTEM was a valuable experience. I would never have the confidence to implement a PBL unit on my own, without my partners, the immersion experiences that we had, and the help from our coach and other participants.”

“As a classroom teacher, being away from the corporate world for so long, I have forgotten that it’s a whole other world! It was nice to make connections and see the skills first hand that I need to prepare my students for.”

“I can just tell how much time and effort went into planning this week – this was the best PD I’ve ever participated in. I can’t wait to spread the word to my colleagues about how awesome this week was.”

SummerSTEM 2017 Sponsors

Get Involved


Teams of two educators apply to participate. School administrators complete a portion of the application to demonstrate support for their teams.

STEM Businesses & Organizations

STEM businesses and organizations can offer to be host sites for educators and financially sponsor the event so more teachers can attend.

To learn more about SummerSTEM, contact:

Teresa Pierrie

Director of Programs

(919) 780-5235 |