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Navy Metrology Engineering Center STEM Outreach Through the STEP Program: Challenges, Lessons Learned, and Application to DoD Strategy

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching Methods and Learning Models

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1096.1 - 22.1096.20



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Paper Authors


Douglas Sugg Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division

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Doug Sugg is the Department Head of Product Engineering Assessment at the Corona Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

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John V Fishell Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP)

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John V. Fishell retired from his position as Technical Director of NSWC, Corona Division, Corona, CA in 2008 after 36 years of service. He holds a Juris Doctorate in Law from California Southern Law School and a B.S.E.E. from the University of Texas, El Paso along with two Certificates in Management from the University of Texas McCombs Business Scool. Mr. Fishell has been an active participant and supporter of the Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) since its inception and a member of the STEP Board of Directors. He served as the STEP Vice-President for over five years and was named STEP President this past year.

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Arman Hovakemian Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division

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Arman Hovakemian
Measurement Science Department Head
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division
Arman Hovakemian is the Measurement Science Department Head for Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division, where he oversees the day-to-day technical operations of the Navy’s Metrology and Calibration (METCAL) Program.
Corona's Measurement Science Department (MSD) is the Scientific and Technical Agent for the Navy METCAL Program. MSD aassesses technical measurement requirements and capabilities for the Navy to ensure that metrology and calibration support is in place; that measurement technology keeps pace with advancements in combat systems, weapons, and test equipment technology; and that measurements are accurate and traceable to national standards. MSD performs research and development of new measurement standards to fill deficiencies in the Navy’s measurement capability.

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Navy Metrology Engineering Center STEM Outreach through the STEP Program: Challenges, Lessons Learned and Application to DoD StrategyThe Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) Program has been operating inRiverside, California as a 501 (c) non-profit for over 10 years. The Navy’s MetrologyEngineering Center (MEC) is a Department of Defense engineering activity which has been along time STEP Program partner. Since its inception, STEP’s focus has been on the 3rd through8th grades in order to increase the numbers of students qualified to obtain technical educationsand degrees at higher levels. With the assistance of MEC, the STEP Program model has beenexported to other areas of the United States with some demonstrated success as well as somelessons learned concerning underlying requirements. Over 50,000 students and 3,000 of theirteachers have experienced the STEP Program to dateThis paper will explore the original STEP Program model with the challenges faced over theyears that caused refinements to be made. The paper will address the importance of STEMoutreach in the early grades along with the need for focusing increased resources at this earlyeducational stage. Insights into the lessons learned and many issues faced over the past 10 yearsof attempting to succeed at STEM outreach in the early grades will be presented from thissuccessful program’s perspective. The refined STEP model template will be provided along withthe challenges faced to successfully export this program model to other communities withMEC‘s help. Achievements to date will be provided along with future program goals.This paper will also present information showing an increase in national activity and focus onSTEM outreach efforts such as STEP. As a concrete example of increasing STEM outreach, theco-authors of this paper from the Navy’s Metrology Engineering Center located in Corona,California will present their view of the STEP Program and its role in helping them execute therecently released Department of Defense’s (DoD) Strategic Plan on STEM Education andOutreach. MEC DoD has renewed its commitment to STEM outreach with this recently releasedstrategic plan for 2010 through 2014. The basics of the DoD strategic plan including vision,mission and goals will be presented along with the stated underlying rationale for DoD’srenewed focus on STEM education and outreach. The specific motivation for MEC’s interest intheir long term commitment to STEM outreach will be shown to parallel the driving factors thatmotivated DoD generally.

Sugg, D., & Fishell, J. V., & Hovakemian, A. (2011, June), Navy Metrology Engineering Center STEM Outreach Through the STEP Program: Challenges, Lessons Learned, and Application to DoD Strategy Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18687

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