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2007 Annual Repor t
North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center
was launched in 2002 to promote and support innovation in science, mathematics, and technology learning in the state’s elementary and secondary schools. We’re doing that by serving as a catalyst for innovation and change in education; advocating for research-based instructional programs in schools; providing tools, learning methods, and technical help to educators; and recruiting community and business leaders to encourage and promote advanced science and mathematics learning at all ages.
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From the President Teacher Link LASER Science Competitions SMT Awards Collaborations Financial Statements Board of Directors
Thanks to Jason Painter for his photo contributions.
From the President From the President
Samuel H. Houston Jr., Ed.D. President and CEO
Whenever the conversation turns to future workforce issues, the two words I hear most repeated are competitive and collaborative.
At first glance these words seem to be at odds with one another. But when you consider that in order to be competitive you need to be collaborative (and vice versa) the two words fold nicely together. Trying to predict the future is not easy. We can ask what we think are the right questions, but as the president of MCNC Joe Freddoso likes to point out the world is moving at Internet speed and the rest of us are playing catch up. Educating a student in technology that is evolving so quickly that by the time the lesson plan is finished, the technology has been revised, revamped, bought, sold, merged, and then becomes obsolete is a difficult task. So technology is just the tool. It’s how you use the technology that’s important: How to use technology to collaborate and how to compete in an expanding marketplace. This past year, the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center has been engaged in many different projects with many different groups in order to fulfill our mission of enabling our students to thrive in a workforce that few of us can even imagine. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Testing and Accountability gave the Center an opportunity to influence how education is assessed and how it will impact North Carolina particularly in SMT areas. The commission was created out of a desire by the N.C. State Board of Education to look at issues in accountability. While exploring issues of accountability we must also consider instruction, curriculum design, and how to measure student performance. In essence, we had to look at the foundation of the educational system. The mortar of this foundation is the creation of “future-ready students.” Language such as “21st Century Skills” and “globally competitive” speaks to the heart of the SMT Center’s mission. You cannot prepare a student for the future without including science, mathematics, and technology in the mix. We have also been in partnership with the University of Washington and the Stanford Research Institute to develop an evaluation instrument to assess learning through hands-on, inquiry-based means. We are identifying districts to participate in research on assessment tools, providing advice on research efforts, and gathering organizations and policymakers in N.C. interested in improving student assessment. Through these efforts and the efforts listed in the following report, the Center has gained considerable visibility and acknowledgement that it is a valued player in SMT-related issues. —continued on next page
2007 Report | 3
Celebrate In April, the SMT Center held the second annual SMT Celebration. More than 400 guests attended our celebration of the organizations and people who contribute to the health of SMT education in our state. We recognized those who have received national or statewide honors. This year we had our own inaugural award ceremony. Dr. Queta Bond, who was instrumental in the creation of the SMT Center, received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the Governor’s Office for her commitment to science education in North Carolina. See page 8. —continued Convene In the past two years of our partnership with the National Science Resources Center, the LASER Institute has gathered more than 30 North Carolina school districts to create strategic inquiry-based science education reform plans. Working with these districts, the Center is reaching out to nearly 500,000 students. See page 6. Competition Through funding by the North Carolina General Assembly, we were able to create the North Carolina Science Competition Program Center in order to provide more students across the state with the benefits of science competitions. We have also sponsored teacher professional development to train them to coach and direct science competitions. See page 7. Collaboration The SMT Center, in partnership with the Public School Forum, has developed and organized science and mathematics teacher training for the Collaborative Project. We provided 98 teachers from Mitchell, Caswell, Warren, Greene, and Washington counties with fiveday residential mathematics workshops held at three University of North Carolina campuses. See page 10. In Summary Success of an organization is measured by the sum of its parts. Part of the SMT Center’s success can be attributed to its ability to collaborate. Through collaboration we can add strengths and smooth the edges to allow us to accomplish our goals. By providing teacher development, by providing opportunities for school districts to assess and develop science education plans, by providing resources for informal science education projects to flourish and to spread their reach, we are providing the students of North Carolina with the necessary knowledge and skills in science, mathematics, and technology to have successful careers, be good citizens, and advance the economy of the Old North State. —Samuel H. Houston Jr., Ed.D.
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Science Professionals Reaching Out to Students From the President
Working with the Teacher Link Program, meteorologist Marvin Maddox engages middle school students and teachers with the basics of weather: observing and forecasting. These are the things, he says, that students can go outside and do themselves. In talking to school groups, Mr. Maddox likes to emphasize severe weather, such as thunderstorms and tornadoes. “Seventh graders are old enough to remember a weather event that has affected their life,” he said. “The students relate their own experience with severe weather and always have a lot of good questions. Weather is a subject about which everyone has a story to tell.” In one classroom in Randolph County, located in central North Carolina, a teacher prepared her students for Mr. Maddox’s visit by holding a series of discussions and other activities centered on the
weather. Knowing they would have an opportunity to talk to a meteorologist, the students covered the classroom walls with posters of all of the questions they had for him. Most of the questions asked what it was like to be a metereologist and what kind of training he needed. Asking the students to come up with questions beforehand instilled the students with a heightened interest in the subject matter, and Mr. Maddox considers such “interest building” to be a strength of the Teacher Link Program. “As a child, I was curious about the world around me. I wondered where the clouds came from,” he said. “The Teacher Link Program instills that curiosity in students, encouraging them to wonder what is the world about, whether they’re studying meteorology, physics, or biology.”
“ A s A child, i wAs curious About the world Around me. i wondered where the clouds cAme from. the teAcher link ProgrAm instills thAt curiosity in students...”
Marvin Maddox has a B. S. in physics from the University of Georgia and an M.S. in meteorology from St. Louis University. After retiring from the National Weather Service, he taught at the Scranton campus of Penn State University. He moved to North Carolina in 2004 and has been involved with Teacher Link since 2006.
Photo credit: N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
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Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform
In his keynote address Joe Freddoso, president and CEO of MCNC, pointed out, “The world is changing but the educational system is not. We need to educate our students for jobs that will actually exist when they graduate.” The audience was comprised of educational representatives from 14 North Carolina school districts. They gathered in Asheville, N.C., as part of the LASER Institute (Leadership and Assistance for Science
the lAser institute guides school
district leAdershiP teAms through the Process of develoPing A tAilored strAtegic PlAn for initiAting And imPle menting An effective reseArch -bAsed, inquiry- centered science ProgrAm.
Education Reform), to undergo a rigorous weeklong program structured to help participants prepare a strategic plan for improving science education in their district. While the topic of change spoke true for every school district present, for rural Mitchell County the message hit home. Wedged between the cities of Asheville and Boone in Western N.C., Mitchell County is looking to the future for its students. The jobs in the furniture industry that were available to previous generations are not going to be available. Louis Schlesinger, a manager of mineral process research at a mining company and an active community member in science education, took part in the LASER Institute to “enable other people to have careers like I have.” Mr. Schlesinger has had four children enrolled in the Mitchell County school system and understands that science education improvement extends beyond the borders of Mitchell County. For more than a decade Mr. Schlesinger has been working with the school district by judging science fairs and helping to sponsor and recruit coaches and judges for Science Olympiad through his company. He feels that there are excellent reasons why school systems need to partner with industry and the community to improve science education. “Practicing scientists and engineers are going to know what effective science education is and can provide staff development and support to schools,” he said.
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Building on Strengths the President From
Since the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center’s inception, support for science competitions was prioritized as an important part of its work. Tom Williams, former superintendant of Granville County schools, has been working with the Center to bring more awareness to the world of science competitions in North Carolina. Mr. Williams and others are working to develop new processes that will increase community awareness and involvement, media visibility, and student engagement at selected science and mathematic competitions that the Center is supporting. During this past year, the SMT Center has supported and promoted participation in six distinct state competitions, including N.C. Science Olympiad and the State Science and Engineering Fair. The Center selects competitions based on their capacity to provide local, regional, national, and even international opportunities for students. Partnerships with organizations like N.C. Grassroots Museum Collaborative provide opportunities for students who excel at the North Carolina International Science Challenge to present their research at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition. During the summer of 2008, the Center
supported summer camps for students and workshops for teachers on how to start Science Olympiad teams for elementary students. “Students that participate in science competitions spend more time in and out of class engaged in science —thinking critically, asking questions and testing possible explanations. They get opportunities to hone problem-solving skills, to practice presenting their research to varied audiences, and to learn to articulate and defend their own thinking,” explains Lisa Rhoades, program associate at the SMT Center. These students also demonstrate an impressive level of cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect —important 21st century skills that young people will need as they embark on their careers.
Funding provided by the North Carolina General Assembly
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Celebrating Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education
The second annual SMT Center celebration took place on April 19, 2008. More than 400 people attended the event held at the Embassy Suites in Cary. This was the first year that the SMT Center delivered its own awards in addition to honoring students and teachers that received recognition from other organizations. Burroughs Wellcome Fund President Enriqueta Bond, Ph.D, received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian award in North Carolina. The SMT Center website has links to the videos that were shown during the celebration.
Writing for Correlations, the official blog of Wired Science, Sheril Kirshenbaum wrote: To write I was ‘impressed’ would be an understatement. I met students like Melanie Wiley, a senior at NC School of Science and Math studying protein aggregations in the brain and their correlation to incidence of Parkinson’s disease. I learned about the work of Adam Meyer, a senior at Raleigh Charter High School, who identified the need for a campaign to protect the Richland Natural Area and then worked to build a coalition to support the effort. I was inspired by teachers like Myra Halpin…whose passion for science is coupled with an equal drive to communicate to broad audiences. If the ceremony reflects the future for math and science, there is certainly reason for hope… The SMT Center will accept award nominations for the 2009 award celebration on its website at ncsmt.org.
“if the ceremony reflects the future for mAth And science,
there is certAinly reAson for hoPe…”
Champion of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Award —Donald Cline
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
Student Leadership Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education —Adam Meyer
Raleigh Charter High School
Business and Industry Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education —GlaxoSmithKline
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From the President
Partnership Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education—Granville Education Foundation’s Technology Committee
Outstanding Educator in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Award —Myra Halpin
N.C. School of Science and Math
Partnership Award in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education —Shodor
Presidential Award —Dr. Queta Bond
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
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The Collaborative Project The Collaborative Project is a 21st Century Initiative of the North Carolina General Assembly that was born from discussions with state senate and house leadership about concern for the quality of education and high teacher turnover rates in rural districts of the state. In August 2007, the Collaborative Project set out to positively impact teacher recruitment and retention, to provide quality professional development resources, and to significantly improve student performance in elementary and middle schools in the five participating school districts. The school systems participating in the pilot project—Caswell, Greene, Mitchell, Warren, and Washington Counties—represent small communities that serve low-income students in rural areas of the state. To better prepare disadvantaged students in these areas for high school, the Collaborative Project also funds after-school programs that extend the school year and offer a mix of academic support and opportunities for learning outside of the classroom. Last year, over 750 elementary and middle school students participated in the Project’s after school programs. The North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, along with the Public School Forum of North Carolina, are responsible for administering the programs offered by the Project. Blue Ribbon Commission The Blue Ribbon Commission on Testing and Accountability was started in June 2007 to comprehensively review and offer to the State Board of Education recommendations for re-visioning the State’s testing program and accountability system. The appointment letter to the Commission indicated that its work was expected to be “visionary and in-depth,” searching for credible and practical solutions that will serve public education well. Sam Houston chaired the Commission made up of a number of political figures alongside
a very broad cross-section of business and industry representatives and educators from all levels of the public sector, community colleges, and universities. In January 2008, Dr. Houston presented the official report on behalf of the Commission at the General Assembly Building to a joint meeting of the State Board and the General Assembly. The complete report is available on the Department of Public Instruction State Board of Education website. LIFE (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments) Partnership LIFE is a partnership between the University of Washington, Stanford University, SRI International, and the SMT Center that serves as a support center for their work in North Carolina. The partnership is developing a multimedia assessment prototype that will allow learners to demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities. This assessment tool will go beyond traditional written tests to allow the learner an opportunity to demonstrate more than just the ability to determine right or wrong selections from an answer menu. This work is being done in concert with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the North Carolina State Board of Education, and the North Carolina Office of the Governor. New Schools Project In partnership with the North Carolina New Schools Project (NSP), the SMT Center supports development of Redesigned High Schools that are heavily focused on science, mathematics, technology, and health education. The high schools are formed when a large high school of typically 1,800 students or more is “reinvented” into several smaller, independent high schools that have a specific and rigorous academic focus.
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Financial Statements the President From
Statement of Financial Position
Year Ended June 30, 2007
Assets Cash Grants receivable, net of discount Total assets Liabilities and Net Assets Accounts payable Agent liability to specified beneficiaries Total liabilities Unrestricted net assets Total liabilities and net assets $ $ — 50,000 50,000 $ 139,309 $ 2,601,610 $ 2,740,919
$ 2,690,919 $ 2,740,919
Statement of Activities
Year Ended June 30, 2007
Changes in unrestricted net assets Revenues Grants Contributions Interest Total unrestricted revenues Expenses Program services General and administrative Total expenses Changes in net assets Net assets at beginning of year Net assets at end of year $ $ $ $ 84,264 437,196 521,460 187,879 $ $ $ $ 272,387 436,882 70 709,339
$ 2,503,040 $ 2,690,919
The North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center (SMT Center) is supported primarily by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. That support includes $436,882 of expenses paid on behalf of the SMT Center during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007. These expenses were related to salaries, travel, meeting expenses, maintenance, supplies, professional fees, printing, and other miscellaneous items. In May 2005, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund awarded $2,500,000 to the SMT Center. Payments on the award will be made at a future date.
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Board of Directors
Fiscal Year 2007-2008
Gerald Boarman, Ed.D. Chancellor N.C. School of Science and Mathematics Enriqueta C. Bond, Ph.D. President–retired Burroughs Wellcome Fund Todd Boyette, Ph.D. Director Morehead Planetarium and Science Center University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill J.B. Buxton Deputy State Superintendent N.C. Department of Public Instruction Norman Cohen Director UNITEC Joseph Crocker Director of Operations Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation John Dornan Executive Director Public School Forum of North Carolina David Haase, Ph.D. Professor of Physics North Carolina State University Verna Holoman, Ph.D. Executive Director N.C. Mathematics and Science Education Network Center for School Leadership Development University of North Carolina Samuel H. Houston Jr., Ed.D. President and CEO North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center Kate Hovis, CFP® Senior Vice President Senior Wealth Management Advisor BB&T Emma Jackson Director of Title 1 Programs New Hanover County Schools Susan Jackson VP and Chief Learning Officer Wake Med Health & Hospitals Senator Howard Lee Chairman State Board of Education Jane Patterson Executive Director e-N.C. Authority Rural Economic Development Center Sid Rachlin, Ed.D. Professor of Mathematics Education East Carolina University Michael Schmedlen Director, Worldwide Education Lenovo United States Elic Senter Education Consultant Center for Teaching and Learning N.C. Association of Educators Philip Tracy, Jr. (Chair) Attorney Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, L.L.P. Lawyers
t 919.991.5111 f 919.991.0695 www.ncsmt.org P.O. Box 13901 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3901
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