STEM Schools of Distinction

To identify and recognize exemplary STEM Schools and STEM Programs, the STEM Schools of Distinction recognition program was developed. This program provides a standard definition of quality STEM implementation using the STEM School Progress Rubric as the framework and backbone of the application process for implementing the 5 Overarching STEM Principles. Schools have an opportunity to submit an application providing narrative and artifactual evidence of their schools' distinguished STEM approaches to leading and learning. 

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The North Carolina STEM School Progress Rubric is a powerful tool for driving STEM education and school improvement. Built upon ideas initially presented in the former STEM Attribute Implementation Rubric, the SSPR incorporates leading national research and extends a stronger awareness to the great value that humanities subjects contribute to society. The North Carolina STEM School Progress Rubric was written to accommodate the ambiguity of some courses and content, encouraging definition at the local level in a way that best suits the school or community and fosters local leadership and ownership. Streamlined and comprehensive, this revised tool guides school teams to reflect on the current stage of their work, create sustainable plans, experiment with innovations, determine next steps, and track their progress. 

Intent To Apply

Schools in North Carolina planning to apply for potential STEM Recognition for the 2022-23 school year are to fill out the following Intent to Apply. This is to ensure you will receive information about the application, timeline updates, and available resources which will provide assistance through this process. An intent to apply request must be submitted no later than October 7, 2022.

Renewal for Current Schools of Distinction

North Carolina schools that have been previously recognized as STEM Schools of Distinction hold that honor for a three-year term. A one-time opportunity allows recognized schools to renew their current status. If this is your third year of Distinction and you are seeking to renew your current status, you also must communicate an Intent to Apply. Please submit no later than October 7, 2022. Be sure to indicate that you are seeking to renew your current designation on the form where indicated.

For more information on the application process and timeline, please contact Howard Ginsburg at 984.236.2844

Application Schedule 2022-2023

August 2022

Applications Released      

October 7, 2022

Intent to Apply Due

February 3, 2023

Applications Due

Mid-February through Mid-March 2023 

Applications Reviewed

Mid-March through April 2023

Site visits to qualifying schools

September 2023

State Board of Education Recognition


2022-23 STEM Application

**PDF’s of the STEM Recognition Application Packets are intended for guidance and hard copy reference only. Schools planning to apply for recognition and review are to contact Howard Ginsburg to receive the formal application.