Serving & Science: A STEM Future for NC is rooted in the belief that economically disadvantaged youth can find a path out of poverty through a career in STEM. K-12 students, particularly women and minorities, are performing below their peers in STEM subjects. NCMNS AmeriCorps members can address these issues with the Serving & Science program. Through after-school activities, family involvement and classroom teaching and support interventions, students will have improved academic engagement and social-emotional skills. This will positively impact their ability to pursue post-secondary education in STEM and their interest in a STEM career.

U.S. students lag behind their counterparts from other industrialized counties in science and mathematics literacy, currently ranking 23rd and 36th, respectively, in the world (data.oecd.org/education.htm). Only 37% of high school graduates met the college readiness benchmark for science (act.org). The situation is more critical in NC where students' aptitude for science declines significantly below the national average from the time between 4th and 8th grades (nationsreportcard.gov). "The Status of Girls in North Carolina" reports that the performance of African-American and Hispanic girls in science and math decreases dramatically compared to their peers beginning in middle school, and that poverty directly correlates to lower education achievements in children (https://www.meredith.edu/college-research/the-status-of-girls).

For most students, particularly women and minorities who are underrepresented in STEM fields, the only exposure to STEM topics is in school, where instruction is stifled by the demand to meet curriculum standards and by scant resources. Most youth learn about career options and are encouraged to pursue career choices from the adults in their life, many of which may not know about STEM careers.

For more information about the AmeriCorps program, please visit