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

In the Summer of 2021, we held six STEM camps for 90 elementary, middle & high school students with a focus on high-quality STEM education, field trips, and hands-on learning. Click here to read the impact camp had on one Early College student.

In 2019, Girl Power was in action at the Discover Stem Camp at Bruce Drysdale Elementary. A group of 4th and 5th grade girls from across the county participated in a fun-filled week being introduced to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and careers. With a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation Powerful Community’s program, The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) in collaboration with the district’s Academically and Intellectually Gifted department created the camp. Read more…

 Muddy Sneakers

HCEF & HCPS partner with Muddy Sneakers to bring the “joy of learning outside” to 5th grade students in Henderson County with the goal of expanding to all 13 elementary schools within three years. Beginning in the 21-22 school year, Muddy Sneakers was launched in eight of our elementary schools: Atkinson, Bruce Drysdale, Clear Creek, Fletcher, Hendersonville Elementary, Hillandale, Mills River, and Sugarloaf. With support from the community, we will be able to bring the program to Dana Elementary and Edneyville Elementary for the 2022-2023 school year.   In order for it to continue, HCPS and the Henderson County Education Foundation must fund 25 percent of the total cost of the Muddy Sneakers program. 

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.