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Gift to Support STEM Schools Focused on Biotech, Agriscience

Efforts to develop a network of STEM-themed secondary schools focused on biotechnology and agriscience just got a boost from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has committed $500,000 to the work in North Carolina.

The state's Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience is slated to open this August with a class of 60 9th graders, eventually expanding to serve some 500 students across five counties. The goal is for the new public school to serve as a statewide model and partner in a broader initiative to launch more such STEM schools.

"These funds will help lay a strong foundation for a school—and a network of schools—that promise to prepare students with the skills they need to succeed in college and careers," said Tony Habit, the president of the North Carolina New Schools Project in a press release. "North Carolina's future depends on a workforce that can solve problems and think on its feet."

The North Carolina New Schools Project developed the proposal, and is working in partnership with the state's board of education and department of public instruction.

The grant from Carnegie will support the establishment of a partnership with N.C. State University to shape a university-wide strategy to advance the biotech and agriscience network; provide a technology instructional coach and lead math teacher for the regional school; and develop case studies and videos of instructional strategies to inform the emerging network of STEM schools.

(Carnegie also helps support coverage of district and high school reform in Education Week.)

Speaking of North Carolina and STEM schools, I visited one such school last September on the N.C. State campus in Raleigh. I featured the school in a broader EdWeek story about the growth of a new generation of STEM schools targeting underrepresented student populations.

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