The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping and the North Carolina State Fair has come and gone. Summer is firmly in the rearview mirror, but the impacts of SummerSTEM 2015 are still being felt in Wake County Public School System classrooms.

Over the summer, fifty Wake County Public School educators were embedded into local businesses and organizations. From July 13-17, the educators engaged in hands-on experiences designed to bring real-world lessons to the classroom. They partnered with actual STEM workers, spending time at Biogen, LORD Corporation, The National Institute for Environmental Health Services (NIEHS), NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Red Hat and SAS. In addition, partnerships with Applebee’s, Bayer, Duke Energy and North Carolina New Schools made the event possible.

Now with students back in school, these partnerships are paying dividends in the classroom. NCDOT workers recently visited Rolesville Middle School because of a partnership that began at SummerSTEM. Students at Vernon Malone College and Career Academy are experiencing new ways to look at data thanks to educator experiences at SAS.

SummerSTEM grew out of a partnership between WakeEd Partnership and WCPSS. We are currently looking for businesses willing to invest in our students and educators through SummerSTEM 2016. This year the program is being expanded to provide professional development for 100 elementary, middle and high school teachers through instruction in problem-based learning and STEM immersion experiences at 12 STEM companies. If your business would like to support SummerSTEM, please contact Director of Programs Teresa Pierrie at tpierrie@wakeed.org.