Welcome to the National Education Foundation STEM+ Academies


Mission Statement

The NEF-SUNY STEM VISION FOR AMERICA  is “To provide world-class STEM education to 1 Million K-12 Students in 2019, with 80% grant, and increase the number every year.”

— NEF Chairman Dr. Appu Kuttan

 About NEF

The Cyberlearning STEM+ Academies program is a private-public partnership among the National Education Foundation, the State University of New York at Potsdam, Pearson Digital, Skillsoft, and public, private, and charter schools throughout the United States. Scroll down, or explore the links above to learn more.


Interested in becoming a participating school? Join Us

Pinned News Stories

The 2018-2019 Minecraft contest results are in. See the Minecraft Competition page for news about the winners and imagery of the winning builds. Stay tuned for news about the 2019-2020 contest!

Congratulations to Brocton Central School for winning Academy of the Year 2019! See the video here.

Recent Evidence

Working with Pearson, National Education Foundation provides an OnTarget Analysis of one of our Academies located in Somerton, AZ.

What is OnTarget Analysis?

The purpose of OnTarget Analysis® is to determine:

a)      the statistical relationship between SuccessMaker® student performance in math and reading for grade three through five and student achievement on the AzMERIT.

b)      SuccessMaker courseware target levels correlating to specific AzMERIT test achievement. To accomplish these goals, we investigated the relationship between courseware levels SuccessMaker students in Somerton School District achieved at the time of the AzMERIT test (April 2018), and their achievement on the AzMERIT. Using linear regression, we identified specific SuccessMaker courseware levels corresponding to AzMERIT achievement at the 60% and 80% confidence intervals. By combining the forecasting of time needed to reach specified SuccessMaker courseware levels with the relationship between SuccessMaker levels and AzMERIT achievement, the SuccessMaker management system can provide educators with a continually updated forecast of AzMERIT achievement for individuals, groups, or subgroups of students, at any point during the 2018-2019 school year.

See the Evidence of Effectiveness page for the full report.

Grade 3 Math

Grade 3 Reading

Grade 4 Math

Grade 4 Reading

Martins Ferry – 2017

Robot Rescue: STEM Workshop


NAPLES, NY – SUNY Potsdam Professor Dr. Anthony Betrus leads a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational workshop for a group of fifth graders at Naples Elementary School. The students, guided by Dr. Betrus, worked together to program a robot to reach a second robot by navigating through an obstacle course they built in their classroom. The robots are part of a STEM educational kit called Dash and Dot, which is one of many activities and tools in Dr. Betrus’ suite of STEM learning resources. Using a mobile app called Blockly, the team was able to connect wirelessly to the first robot, named Dash, and send a sequence of simple commands that instructed the robot how to move through an obstacle course in order to reach the “captured” second robot, Dot. The instructions for movement were organized by the students ahead of time and then sent to Dash, which followed them step-by-step without additional input from the students. The instructions themselves are very simple – for instance, they might instruct Dash to move forward for two seconds, then turn 90 degrees to the left, then move forward one second – but this process of anticipating obstacles and programming directions is in contrast to the sort of real-time interactions most students are used to when controlling a remote control car, or a vehicle in a video game, and requires planning and problem solving in order to be successful. As a group, the students collaborated on different combinations of instructions to send to Dash to navigate around several obstacles to reach Dot, initially finding their queued directions coming up short of success.  After several adaptations, they were able to program a successful series of instructions in Blockly to cause Dash to “rescue” Dot. “Working with Blockly in this way provides a fun and meaningful experience for students to work with code and to experience working as a team to systematically solve a problem using 21st century skills,” says Dr. Betrus, who, with his team, has been exploring educational curricula for students and teachers alike to work with robotics, programming, and other state-of-the-art STEM concepts, bringing these skills to schools and providing students and teachers a chance to experience these opportunities firsthand. The student response was fantastic and the 5th graders not only learned a bit about code but they also had a lot of fun doing it – by the end of the session the main question students had was “where can I get my own Dash and Dot?”


Somerton Schools Announced as NEF’s 2018 STEM Leadership Award Recipient

Friday, November 9th, 2018

National Education Foundation (NEF), the global non-profit leader in K-12 STEM Education, and the State University of New York (SUNY-Potsdam), part of one of the largest university in the US, just announced that Somerton City School District has won the 2018 National STEM Academy of the Year Award. The Somerton students advanced a grade level in math and reading in 6 months – a phenomenal achievement for any school district!

Minecraft Contest Winners 2017-2018

Monday, July 16th, 2018

The winners have been chosen! Check out this article for the announcement and a video highlighting the winning build.

SmartLab Improves Math Scores at Denver School

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

An elementary school in Denver sees dramatic improvements through the use of SmartLab in the 2016-2017 School year.