STEM East is an initiative of the NC East Alliance and works to develop and maintain networks among regional businesses, school districts, economic development municipalities, private foundations, state and local government agencies, and others in eastern North Carolina. STEM East seeks to ensure that students across eastern North Carolina engage in real-world STEM learning opportunities that directly align with regional career opportunities.
From August 2016 through February 2019, the Friday Institute Research and Evaluation Team (FIRE Team) partnered with the STEM East leadership to build the evaluation capacity of 7 network districts who received STEM education grants from the Golden LEAF Foundation. Specifically, the FIRE Team worked with districts leadership teams to more strategically plan, execute, evaluate, and maintain their district’s STEM programs. The purpose of the support was to guide the school districts away from the common practice of implementing isolated STEM education programs, and toward district-wide STEM education strategies and monitoring plans that effectively incorporate the district’s current and future STEM education activities, enabling the districts to achieve higher performance over time. The resources for planning and performance measurement of STEM programs can be found on the project website.