By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The N.C. Department of Public Instruction is now accepting applications for affiliate members to the NC STEM Learning Network.

Nonprofits, businesses, foundations, and others interested in becoming affiliate members can apply here.

Affiliate membership is free for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year.

Affiliates will be able to connect with schools and districts from across North Carolina along with other national and state organizations, businesses, foundations, and other assets to evaluate, pilot, and adopt new practices in STEM education.

Members also will be able to help member districts serve as first adopters of innovations in STEM education as outlined in the Career & College: Ready, Set, Go! Initiative funded through the federal Race to the Top program.

“As affiliate members of the NC STEM Learning Network, businesses, foundations and other organizations that want to improve STEM education can interact with schools and districts that have already demonstrated their openness to education innovations,” said Mark Ezzell of the NC STEM Learning Network. “Being involved with this network is a great way for those groups to maximize impact.”

The NC STEM Learning Network is a product of North Carolina’s statewide strategic plan to advance STEM education, and has been adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Education as the state’s blueprint for cohesive, coordinated and measurable action that prepares students for high-quality jobs.

The NC STEM Learning Network includes schools and school systems, national organizations, foundations, and others committed to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in North Carolina.