414 4th Avenue West,
Hendersonville, NC 28739

828.697.5551 | [email protected]

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STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)

According to the NC STEM Center: These days, almost every job – even those you least expect – require some skill in a STEM discipline. But many students graduate today without those skills.

That’s not just bad for students; it’s bad for many North Carolina communities that lack the well-trained workforce needed to attract good jobs.

Here are some activities we have supported to help engage young minds and help in preparation for college, career and life.

Discover STEM Camp

This summer, HCEF orchestrated four week-long Discover STEM Camps, thoughtfully tailored to the interests of approximately 80 elementary and middle school students. The camps had a special focus on fostering the participation of underrepresented populations in STEM careers, particularly encouraging females, students of color, and economically disadvantaged children to take part.

Conducted on the campus of Innovative High School, adjacent to Blue Ridge Community College, these camps offered students invigorating mornings of STEM-related instruction. They were guided by HCPS educators, college professors, and experts in the STEM fields, who provided hands-on experiences with various technology tools.

In the afternoons, the students embarked on an exciting journey of STEM career exploration. They either visited local businesses relevant to STEM or were inspired by guest speakers who are leaders in the business world. This unique approach aimed to ignite the students’ passion for STEM and pave the way for a more diverse and inclusive representation in these dynamic fields.

Deep appreciation to the Forest City Data Center for providing the grant that made Discover STEM camp possible!

Thank you to these local businesses and individuals for volunteering their time, donating items, and educating our kids!

  • Optimum

  • Pratt and Whitney

  • Henderson County Habitat for Humanity

  • Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development

  • Kimberly-Clark

  • Avery-Dennison

  • Cane Creek Cycling Components

  • Raumedic

  • UPM Raflatac

  • Turf Mountain Sod

  • Blue Ridge Community College

  • Soil and Water Conservation District

  • 1st Choice Graphics

  • Henderson County Public School Bus Drivers, Cafeteria Workers, & Educators

Muddy Sneakers

HCEF and HCPS maintain their partnership with Muddy Sneakers, dedicated to bringing the wonders of outdoor learning to 5th grade students in Henderson County.

By including Dana and Edneyville, we expanded our reach to encompass 10 out of the 13 elementary schools, granting 750 fifth graders the opportunity to experience 6 outdoor learning adventures closely tied to state science standards, all within our community’s natural surroundings.

Anticipation builds as we prepare to incorporate the last 3 elementary schools into the program this school year. A warm welcome to Glenn C. Marlow, Etowah, and Upward!

Read more about the beginning of the Muddy Sneakers expansion that started in 2018 with Superintendent Bo Caldwell & Chuck and Jean McGrady.


Funding from Duke Energy allowed for Robotics Clubs to launch at Clear Creek & Hillandale Elementary Schools and helped expand the club at Hendersonville Elementary.