Sustaining STEM Career Clubs in Rural North Carolina

North Carolina State University

Director:  Margaret Blanchard
Associate Professor of Science Education
Raleigh, NC
 

Project:  Sustaining STEM Career Clubs in Rural North Carolina

Sustaining STEM Career Clubs in Rural North Carolina supports after-school STEM Career Clubs that were launched in 2014 at four rural middle schools in Warren, Northampton, Vance, and Nash-Rocky Mount counties. The goal of this project is to sustain innovative, interactive, and research-based after-school STEM Career Clubs to increase the likelihood that participating students will pursue STEM majors and careers. This goal is supported by two key objectives: 1) Facilitate students' and parents' identification with the STEM community by increasing their awareness of, interest in, and positive perceptions of STEM fields and careers; and 2) Increase students' and support teachers' STEM content knowledge and skills.  The project provides students authentic experiences that build their interest in STEM and STEM-related careers. Moreover, students explore project-based learning activities that extend the curriculum taught in the classroom and build student competency in STEM workforce skills, tools, and technology. 

The project supports approximately 160 students each year (40+ at each site) at the rural middle schools, supports the teachers to run the clubs, and pays for bus transportation home.  In addition, students participate in two college visits each year for students in each club and the STEAM Expo in Research Triangle Park.