Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

NC STEM Ecosystem Continues Leap into Science Program

Sunday, May 02, 2021

A group of STEM leaders from organizations across the state, including STEM SENC, was selected to join the Leap Into Science Cohort 3 in 2019. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Leap Into Science National Network Initiative is disseminating Leap Into Science to 15 states via state partnerships of informal education institutions. Leap into Science is a program developed by The Franklin Institute that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books. The program empowers educators to offer workshops in community settings like libraries and museums to engage underserved audiences in accessible and familiar settings.

The North Carolina Leap Into Science State Leadership Team (SLT) has committed to offer Leap into Science training and support for librarians, informal educators, and early childhood educators who serve rural and urban communities across North Carolina. Each organization trained then agrees to offer at least three workshops to children and families.

Members of the SLT attended virtual training offered by the Franklin Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project, and held three sessions to virtually train over 50 Head Start educators and librarians on the Leap Into Science Light & Shadow curriculum earlier this year. The SLT was recently selected to receive additional funding and books to continue to offer trainings through 2021.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to continue this program,” said Heddy Clark, director of WCE’s STEM LC, executive director of STEM SENC and a member of NC’s Leap Into Science State Leadership Team. “Leap Into Science is a great program for engaging children and families in STEM. The funding we receive enables us to offer free training and kits to educators, who in turn, offer in-person and virtual workshops for children and families across the state.”

In addition to Clark, Carol Moore, STEM WEST;  Bruce Middleton, STEM EAST; Lisa Rhoades, The North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center; and Susan Forbes, the State Library of NC, are all members of NC’s Leap Into Science State Leadership Team. The NC Center for Afterschool Programs and the North Carolina Science Network also provide support for the program. Michelle Hafey, CESTEM program associate, will join the SLT this summer to provide training programs for educators.

For more information or to register for upcoming training programs, visit the North Carolina Leap Into Science website.