Welcome to STEMposium 2021!

Great things are happening for students in the Wake County Public School System. In 2020, WakeEd’s SummerSTEM program empowered 140 K-12 teachers to bring real-world lessons to the classroom through partnerships with leading STEM organizations in the Triangle.

Explore this page and take part in our virtual STEMposium! Meet some of the inspired teachers and dedicated business partners who are going above and beyond for Wake County students. View their presentations to see the impact of strategic business-school partnerships and project-based learning on student achievement and career-readiness.

Celebrate our teachers online using the hashtag #WakeEdSummerSTEM!

Together, We Can Do More

Wake County businesses are making a difference in our public schools.

What is SummerSTEM? 
Each summer through WakeEd’s SummerSTEM program, more than 100 educators from the Wake County Public School System engage in hands-on professional development experiences designed to bring real-world lessons to the classroom. Educators are embedded in leading STEM businesses and organizations. They receive coaching and direct instruction related to project-based learning. In 2020, in a virtual setting, WakeEd hosted its largest number of teachers to date! Educators completed five days of virtual STEM immersions with 20 companies from across our community.

Thank You to all of our SummerSTEM Hosts!

Project-Based Learning in the Classroom

What is Project-Based Learning? 
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a dynamic, student-centered instructional approach in which students acquire deeper knowledge by exploring real-world problems.

Apex Friendship Middle School

The Apex Business Project

Inspired by their SummerSTEM immersions, Apex Friendship Middle School educators Troy Smith and Beth Campbell combined business with family and consumer science to ask students a timely question: how can local businesses best respond to the global pandemic? Students conducted research and contacted local business owners for insight to inform their recommendations. The 4C’s were critical as students faced their own pandemic-related challenges along the way.

Cary High School

The Future of Retail

How can fashion evolve to meet the ever-changing retail climate? Cary High School teachers Cantrel McDonald and Dawn Harrison challenged their students to create a unique, innovative retail business that could withstand a global pandemic. As their  ideas went from plans on paper to 3-D models, students used the 4C’s in every area of this business development PBL. 

What are the 4Cs? 
One of the goals outlined in Vision2020, the WCPSS strategic plan, is to implement a balanced assessment system that measures students’ knoweldge as well as the 4Cs: collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking.

Conn Magnet Elementary School

Google Through the Idea Cycle

Educators Vanessa Hansen and Carrie Bolding from Conn Magnet Elementary School were inspired to take PBL beyond their classrooms to engage all Conn students in a school-wide PBL! Using crayons and computer code, students from kindergarten through fifth grade were challenged to design their own unique, animated Google Doodle using the idea cycle. 

Holly Grove Elementary School

Park Palooza

Fifth graders at Holly Grove Elementary School were challenged to research, plan, design, and present a park design to their Town Council. SummerSTEM teachers Denise Schaffner and Stacey Hale incorporated what they learned from their immersion experiences into this PBL, teaching their students about blueprints, budgets, and project-management strategies used in construction.

Celebrate our teachers online using the hashtag #WakeEdSummerSTEM!

Kingswood Magnet Elementary School

Seeds to Lunch Project

Can seeds from our lunches become food for us to munch? Erika Hulse and Mary Lindstedt engaged Kingswood Elementary’s youngest students in an exciting plant-based PBL inspired by their SummerSTEM experience. Together, pre-k and kindergarten students used the 4C’s to collect seeds, ask important questions about food, conduct experiments, and ultimately plant seeds in a garden! 

Lynn Road Elementary School

May the Force (and Motion) Be With You

Educators Gloria Lamm and Stephanie Wacek brought learning to life this year for Lynn Road Elementary School fifth graders! Inspired by their SummerSTEM immersions, they presented students with daily challenges to explore force and motion. Together, they explored hypotheses through multiple experiments and ultimately designed roller coasters that would take a marble from start to finish. 

Zebulon Magnet Elementary School

The Buddy Bench

Students at Zebulon Magnet Elementary were teamed up and challenged to identify and engineer a solution for a social injustice in the world around them. After hearing from the anti-bullying organization Hope for Teens, one team was inspired to create the Buddy Bench. What started as a classroom project inspired by educators Timothy Chartrand and Erica Flory’s SummerSTEM experience now has the potential to impact students across Wake County!

 WakeEd Partnership

  3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 100

  Raleigh, NC 27609 | (919) 821-7609

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WakeEd Partnership

3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 100

Raleigh, NC 27609 | (919) 821-7609