The Hunt Institute is pleased to announce a new working group aimed at addressing barriers to STEM education access across North Carolina. The North Carolina K-12 STEM Access Working Group, led by legislative co-chairs Senator Jay Chaudhuri, Senator Amy Galey, Representative Brandon Lofton, and Representative Erin Paré, will examine challenges and opportunities related to early STEM development, access to STEM courses, the pipeline of STEM educators, and resource disparities.
“The Hunt Institute is proud to support North Carolina legislators as they seek to identify opportunities to strengthen access to high quality STEM education for students across the state,” said Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of The Hunt Institute. “I am grateful that this diverse group of policymakers, educators, philanthropists, and business leaders are coming together to tackle this important topic.”
“It’s in the best interest of our state to ensure that all children have access to high quality STEM education. I look forward to working collectively to build consensus on increasing access to STEM courses, STEM educators, and STEM resources across the education continuum,” said Senator Jay Chaudhuri. “It’s my sincere hope that our work over the coming months will help grow the next generation of workers in our state tomorrow.”
The working group will meet three times between September 2023 and January 2024 to study these issues and make policy and practice recommendations. The goal is to improve STEM access and representation for women, people of color, and students from low-income backgrounds across North Carolina.
“One of the key findings of the House Select Committee on Advancing Women in STEM was that students have interest in taking STEM coursework and engaging in programs,” said Representative Erin Paré. “It is our responsibility to ensure we are providing these opportunities to all students. I look forward to seeing what new ideas and strategies this working group can craft.”
With STEM jobs projected to grow rapidly nationwide, North Carolina leaders recognize the need to develop homegrown talent and ensure citizens have equitable access to high-paying careers. This will require careful consideration of our STEM education landscape in both rural and urban areas.
Senator Amy Galey, Co-Chair of the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee, said “As we enter the second year in a row of North Carolina being named the number one state for business we must continue to innovate and build systems that facilitate a strong pipeline of students being prepared in STEM fields. I’m very excited to hear from leaders and researchers about ways to engage and grow the next generation of innovators.”
The group’s work will conclude in Spring 2024 with the release of a final report and recommendations. Policy themes under examination include early STEM development, access to advanced courses, teacher shortages, and resource disparities.
“North Carolina is seeing record numbers of jobs come to the state, and many of them are in STEM fields. If we want to keep seeing this type of growth, we must ensure that our workforce is prepared to fill these positions. This working group will tackle key challenges facing recruitment of STEM students and educators and I can’t wait to see the innovative solutions we discuss,” said Representative Brandon Lofton.
About The Hunt Institute
The Hunt Institute, an affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since its establishment in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success. For more information, please visit: http://www.hunt-institute.org/