By WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

DALLAS, Texas – NC STEM Learning Network has joined STEMx.

Battelle Memorial Institute and 13 state STEM education networks officially launched STEMx on Wednesday at the U.S. News STEM Solutions Summit in Dallas, Texas.

One year in the making and sponsored by Battelle, STEMx connects state networks and partners to accelerate the growth of policies, practices, and partnerships that are needed to expand the number of STEM teachers, increase student achievement in STEM education, and grow tomorrow’s innovators.

Battelle is one of the world’s largest independent R&D organizations and a leading charitable trust in the United States who actively supports and promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

STEMx aims to connect states and their stakeholders from across K-12 and higher education, business, government, philanthropy, and the community to impact STEM education and workforce development. The network’s core work of “education, engagement, and exchange” will be propelled by an accessible technology platform enabling states to share, analyze, and disseminate quality STEM education ideas, tools, and practices.

Through this process, according to Eric Fingerhut, vice president for education and STEM learning at Battelle, STEMx will amplify innovative and transformative work already underway in member states.

“We are proud to support STEMx – a game-changer in education,” said Fingerhut. “STEMx is uniquely positioned to impact STEM teaching and learning at a grassroots level through the sharing of STEM-specific resources and tools across the United States. The network’s objective to transform and advance STEM education and workforce development deeply resonates with Battelle’s core education mission and our work in STEM education to date.”

The additional STEMx member states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

“North Carolina is proud to be a charter member of STEMx, “ said Dr. Sam Houston of the N.C. Science, Mathematics & Technology (SMT) Education Center, which houses the NC STEM Learning Network. “Through this organization, North Carolina can promote our STEM resources and tools to other states, and learn from the country’s best minds how we can make the kinds of improvements to our education systems that help students succeed in schools and their jobs.”

The launch ceremony on Wednesday began with a talk show-style panel discussion hosted by NBA Hall of Famer and Global Cultural Ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that included Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of Microsoft Corporation; Battelle CEO Dr. Jeffrey Wadsworth; Johanna Duncan-Poitier, senior vice chancellor at State University of New York; Joyce Beatty, former Democratic leader of the Ohio House of Representatives; and Steve Zipkes, founding principal of Manor New Technology High School.

In the spirit of the high-tech nature of STEMx, attendees also were treated to a ribbon cutting featuring roving and aerial robots programmed by students and faculty from the University of Texas at Dallas.