CESTEM's Mission

  • To provide outreach and regional service in STEM.
  • To improve the quality of pre-college science and mathematics, with an emphasis on technology integration and engineering principles.
  • To ensure public access to educational programs and authentic resources.
  • To provide high quality professional development to K-12 teachers. 

News & Events

2023 PK-12 STEM Education Conference

Mark your calendars! We are so excited to announce the revival of our PK-12 STEM Education Conference on June 22, 2023.

Register now! >



2023 Wilmington Regional NC Science Olympiad Tournament

CESTEM was pleased to welcome over 800 middle and high school students to the 2023 Science Olympiad at UNCW on March 11. Michelle Hafey was featured in a WWAY story about the event! 



2023 Region 2 (Southeast) NC Science and Engineering Fair

CESTEM was pleased to welcome over 100 students in grades 3-12 and their families to the Southeast Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at UNCW on Saturday, February 11. The event was featured on WWAY:

UNCW hosts Southeast Regional Science and Engineering Fair 
Featuring UNCW Watson College of Education and Dr. Van Dempsey, dean


New Hanover Community Endowment Funds

CESTEM is grateful to be a recipient of the New Hanover Community Endowment awards. With this funding we plan to purchase new equipment for our Technology Loan Program and provide free STEM PD for educators.

"UNCW is one of more than 100 agencies set to receive funds from the New Hanover Community Endowment’s inaugural funding cycle. The endowment’s Cape Fear Opportunities and Needs Grants awards will total $9,055,050. Selected applicants successfully demonstrated how the funds will benefit one of the endowment’s four areas of focus: community safety, health and social equity, public education and community development...(click here to read the entire article on UNCW's homepage). 

We hope you will join us for our new Spotlight Series!

Visit the Spotlight Series webpage to learn more! 

Support for Educators in the Field

One of the ways that Watson’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM) supports STEM within the region is through the Technology Loan Program (TLP). Educators may borrow equipment for free to use in their classrooms to engage students’ interest. CESTEM recently held several workshops to introduce K-12 teachers to equipment including their Mobile 3D Printer, VR System, Venier probes and sensors and more. Click to read the full article in the Watson Chronicle.

CESTEM's Michelle Hafey Receives Award for ROCAME Jamboree Support

Hafey-ROCAME-Tech-Support-Jamboree-2022.jpgOn May 13, 2022, Michelle Hafey, CESTEM Program Associate, received an award from Tony Carter, President of the ROCAME (Region “O” Council for the Advancement of Minorities in Engineering) Board for outstanding technical support prior to and during the ROCAME Annual Jamboree 2022.  This was a first time all VIRTUAL event for ROCAME.  Virtual elements included Zoom and Google classrooms videos and online tests.  More than 100 students participated in the 3 day event which consisted of Math tests, Robotics, Electrogames, Oratory, Free Expression, Science Clue, Chemistry Clue and NACME test.  Middle and High School students from Pender, New Hanover, Brunswick and Columbus counties participated along with Whiteville City Schools.  Michelle’s tireless determination and teacher demeanor were great assets in accomplishing this event.  She worked well with adult advisors, judges and students.  Michelle worked to develop platforms to deliver opportunities for students to share their knowledge in a competitive environment.  Her skills were tested but she prevailed.

CESTEM's Michelle Hafey Elected NCSTA District 2 Director

hafeym2020_1web2.jpgMichelle Hafey has been elected to serve a two-year term as Director of District 2 for the North Carolina Science Teachers Association. NCSTA promotes excellence in science teaching and learning. District 2 serves Sampson, Wayne, Greene, Lenoir, Craven, Pamlico, Jones, Onslow, Duplin, Carteret, Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick counties.  

NCSTA District Directors are the liaison between the science teachers and students teachers within their specific district and the state-wide organization. They solicit teachers within their districts to present at the yearly conference, identify exemplary practice within the district, and solicit recommendations for NCSTA professional awards. Directors encourage participation in local science competitions and attend these events to recognize student/teacher accomplishments. Each Director submits reports to the Board summarizing the science activities hosted by each district and the outstanding accomplishments of its NCSTA members. Additionally, District Directors help recruit new members and assist in identifying potential nominees for the elected and appointed Board positions. 

Michelle was recently featured in the January 2022 NC Science Leadership Association (NCSLA) Newsletter, click HERE to read the members spotlight!

Click HERE to read an article about Michelle's director position in the Watson Chronicle.

IBEC Science Fair Academy Video Project

Science-Fair-Academy-Board-Photo-with-Bishop.jpgIsaac Bear students Eleanor Meinhold and Andres Valdiri have developed a series of videos to help students prepare for Science Fair. Working together with SFA advisor Brian Bishop, CESTEM's Heddy Clark and Michelle Hafey, and New Hanover County Schools STEM Specialist David Glenn, the SFA students created an eight-part video series that breaks down the Science & Engineering Fair process on a mentor-mentee level. Click HERE to read the full article in the Watson Chronicle.

2021 Computational Thinking Workshop

GroupWork.jpgOn August 4 & 5, 2021, Shelby Morge and Chris Gordon led a CESTEM workshop titled “Computational Thinking and the NC Computer Science Standards.” During the workshop, K-8 teachers learned about the new North Carolina Computer Science standards and reflected on what they look like in the classroom. Participants also engaged in computational thinking through cross-curricular, computer-based, and non-computer-based classroom tested activities. Click here to read an article about the workshop in the Watson Chronicle.

2021 PBL Workshop

IMG_9325.JPGThe North Carolina Science Leadership Association (NCSLA) partnered with the Center of Excellence for Research, Teaching and Learning (CERTL) at the Wake Forest School of Medicine to provide two 3-day workshops this summer. Both workshops were designed to provide K-12 teachers with inquiry-based lessons in Problem-Based Learning that integrate science, math, language arts and other areas of the curriculum.

STEM SENC and the UNCW Watson College of Education’s Center for Education in STEM (CESTEM) and STEM Learning Cooperative provided support for the workshop held at UNCW on June 21-23. Click here to read an article about the workshop in the Watson Chronicle.

"Improving the science & mathematics achievement of North Carolina's youth by providing high quality professional development for their teachers."