STEM schools created in partnership with North Carolina New Schools have school environments focused on a variety of academic themes. Schools developed around the same theme, or "affinity," are grouped together in a network, with each network having an anchor school that serves as a model and central communications hubs across the network.
Because education is an important economic development tool, each STEM affinity network represents a growth industry or area of opportunity or challenge for North Carolina. Each leverages a strong infrastructure made up of universities, community colleges, businesses, industry groups, nonprofits and government agencies. With these organizations providing input on school projects from real-world problem areas and support, offering internships and job shadowing opportunities, and participating in career development for students, STEM affinity schools are laser-focused on the real world their graduates will enter.