Provided by National Stem Cell Foundation
Carey Hancey-Shier of Grace E. Metz Middle School in Manassas has been selected to participate in the prestigious National STEM Scholar Program, a unique professional development program providing advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) training, national network building and project support for middle school science teachers nationwide. Ten middle school teachers from eight states were selected to participate this year.
Created in partnership between the National Stem Cell Foundation and The Gatton Academy of
Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University (WKU), the National STEM Scholar Program
selects ten teachers each year from a national pool of applicants based solely on the description of a “big
idea” Challenge Project the applicant would implement if funds were available. Selected projects are
chosen for maximum impact in middle school classrooms where research shows lifelong STEM career
decisions are being made. STEM Scholars convene on WKU’s campus for a week of advanced STEM
training and finalize their projects with input from their STEM Scholar class colleagues.
The 2022 National STEM Scholar class will hosted by The Gatton Academy from May 29 to June 4 on
the campus of WKU in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The National STEM Scholar Program brings a thought leader in STEM education to Kentucky each year
for a day of interaction with the Scholar class. This year’s speaker will be Michelle Lucas, CEO of Higher
Orbits. Michelle spent ten years working at NASA in International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control
Operations Planning and as an Astronaut Instructor in the Daily Operations Group before founding Higher
Orbits to inspire student passion for STEM through spaceflight.
Studies show that middle school students who become excited about science are the ones who will
pursue STEM courses in high school and major in them at the technical and college level. At a pivotal
time in decision-making that will open or close the door to opportunity, however, nearly 50% of eighth-graders in America lose interest in pursuing the STEM related subjects increasingly required for 21st century jobs.
Now in its seventh year, there are 70 National STEM Scholars representing middle schools in 32 states. Ninety percent teach in public schools, 40% teach in mid- to high-poverty schools and 36% teach in communities with a population under 15,000. A unique requirement of the program is the responsibility for STEM Scholars to share lessons learned with colleagues in their home schools, districts or states, magnifying impact over multiple classrooms and years. By June 2023, National STEM Scholars will have directly and indirectly impacted more than 83,000 middle school students in the U.S.
About the National Stem Cell Foundation
The National Stem Cell Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that funds adult stem cell and
regenerative medicine research, underwrites the National STEM Scholar Program for middle school
science teachers inspiring the next generation of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
pioneers nationwide, and covers copays and deductibles for children of limited means participating in
clinical trials for rare diseases. For more information, visit nationalstemcellfoundation.org.