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NC teachers selected for prestigious industry-education internships

Forty public school teachers from across North Carolina have been selected as the 2015-16 Kenan Fellows. Their names were announced today during a special event celebrating educators at Vernon Malone College and Career Academy in Raleigh, where there are three Kenan Fellows. The Kenan Fellows Program is a K-12 education initiative at N.C. State University.

“The Kenan Fellows Program is realizing its vision to drive innovations in STEM education and inspire future generations of great inventors, leaders, and thinkers.”

Beginning in June, the new Kenan Fellows will spend five weeks of their summer learning and gaining experience from local experts in nanotechnology, financial education, renewable energy, genetics research, energy, and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. “Because of our collaborative partnerships with K-12 teachers, STEM professionals, philanthropic organizations, universities, museums, businesses, and industries all across the state, the Kenan Fellows Program is realizing its vision to drive innovations in STEM education and inspire future generations of great inventors, leaders, and thinkers,” said Dr. Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program, which was established in 2000 as an initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University.

A core goal of the program is to develop outstanding teacher leaders who serve as advocates for excellence in education. The year-long fellowship begins with the summer internship and culminates with the development and implementation of cutting-edge educational curricula and programs designed by Kenan Fellows. These resources and programs are shared with other educators and used in classrooms, school systems and communities across the state and beyond.

Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program at N.C. State University (Credit: Alisa Herr / EdNC)
Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program at N.C. State University (Credit: Alisa Herr / EdNC)

Educators selected for fellowships demonstrate proven leadership or leadership potential and are awarded a $6,000 stipend that includes travel expenses. Kenan Fellows also receive 80 hours of professional development divided into three professional advancement institutes that focus on leadership skills, community engagement, proven instructional strategies, and education policy. The Biogen Foundation is the premier sponsor of the institutes.

A multi-year Math/Science Partnership grant from the National Science Foundation is giving teachers in Alamance, Buncombe, Durham, Duplin, Pender, Pitt, and Wake counties the opportunity to work with scientists to co-create lessons that involve students in “citizen science.” The initative, known as Students Discover, is in its second year and is led by Rob Dunn, associate professor of Biology at NCSU. Twelve Fellows are also being supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Teachers Program. Those Fellows will learn from researchers working at NCSU’s ASSIST Center, as they develop and employ nanodevices and sensors.

Other program supporters are the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, GlaxoSmithKline, the Goodnight Educational Foundation, Dr. Brian Strahl of UNC Chapel-Hill, Dr. Fred Gould of N.C. State University, the FREEDM Systems Center, N.C. A&T University, Ply Gem, UL LLC, Underwood Elementary School, SAMSI, NISS, Coastal Federal Credit Union, Bayer CropScience, Richmond Community Foundation, Cotton Incorporated, Duplin County Schools, Wells Fargo Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, and North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.

Click here for a list of 2015-16 Kenan Fellows, their school districts, fellowship projects, mentors and supporters.

Visit kenanfellows.org to learn more.

Alisa Herr

Alisa Herr is the former chief technical officer of EducationNC.