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February 11, 2013

Edgecombe Schools up for STEM grant

ROCKY MOUNT — Up for approval by the Edgecombe County Board of Education at its 6:30 p.m. meeting today is the support of a grant project focused on hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The North Carolina State University project, “Linking Informal Experiences to STEM Industries Grant Project,” is in line with the state senate’s recent vote backing Gov. Pat McCrory’s plan to expand career and technical education at the high-school level. The bill headed to the house mandates that the state board of education require high-school diplomas to designate graduates as “college ready” or “career ready,” beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The major goal of the STEM project is to teach students skills that will make them valuable to 21st century employers in technology-related industries. The grant executive summary cover sheet states that the proposed project will develop partnerships to support and curriculum to link “in and out-of-school STEM experiences with essential concepts and skills form STEM-based industries.” Aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries are examples of STEM-based industries. One such local industry, Keihin Carolina System Technology, has already agreed to participate in the project.

The project also will work with schools and afterschool providers to recruit “low income and minority youth (traditionally underrepresented in STEM)” for summer camps to pilot the programs, according to the grant executive summary. The grant begins in October.

Other action items on the board’s agenda are the approval of a budget amendment for the current school year, the approval of 2013-2014 school calendars, the approval of a Strategic Twin Counties Education Partnership (STEP) executive board nomination, and the approval of a G.W. Bulluck Elementary School fundraiser.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the board will recognize Yanisha Mann, new principal of W.A. Pattillo Elementary School, and Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) employee of the month — Ava Cofield, administrative assistant.

The board also will have its second reading of technology related policies, including employee use of social media, and the 2000 series of the board’s policy manual, governing the board and its operations.

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