2019-2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: North Carolina Community Colleges

Effective and Authentic Science Events

The Effective Authentic Science Events (EASE) program connects North Carolina Community Colleges with local middle school students for a day of inquiry-based science, a taste of the college environment, and STEM career exploration. Students begin the day with an original video that lays out a mystery and sets the stage for hands-on, STEM-based, career-focused activities. The activities, developed alongside K-12 educators, foster in-demand 21st century skills and fuse K-12 educational standards with North Carolina life science careers. Each activity closes with discussion linking the results to the overarching mystery and a​ video of the experiences of people who work in a related career​. EASE ​builds STEM self-efficacy​ and nurtures the idea that local community colleges should be the first choice for postsecondary education during a formative period of STEM identity development. EASE has been openly available to all North Carolina community colleges for the past four years and has served 5000+ students.

Innovators: Erin Bingham, Tanya McGhee

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