June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
13.921.1 - 13.921.21
NAVY OUTREACH: The Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) Program
The Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) is addressed as an outreach activity to strengthen the metrology profession. The Navy Metrology Engineering Center and Measurement Science and Technology Laboratory are located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona, CA. Since narrowly surviving the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round, the Center needed a long term strategic approach to providing a pipeline of engineers to replace those lost during the BRAC process and a plan to replace the mass of baby boomers approaching retirement in the next 15 to 20 years. The Center developed a proactive approach to maintaining a pipeline of engineers that involved numerous outreach activities into the university and college systems and into local high schools that helped solve more immediate needs. However, it became clear that the lack of numbers of qualified students “entering” the engineering educational pipeline was the limiting factor in meeting the needs for the increasing demand for engineers.
The Navy Metrology Engineering Center has been a proactive and engaged partner in the STEP Program since its inception. STEP is a 501C(3) non-profit corporation funded privately by partner companies investing in the education of our youth in an attempt to raise the numbers of high technology educated workers in our community. STEP’s primary mission is to “Inspire students to pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology” through an innovative, proactive approach that engages students, teachers and the “educational system” to high technology companies, colleges/universities, government activities, and resources to achieve its purpose. STEP is focused on the 3rd to 8th grade student population with outreach programs into the high school level.
This paper will discuss the underlying studies that led to the founding of STEP and describe its organization, mission, vision and outreach components. The presentation will reveal lessons learned, growing pains, successes and failures as well as achievements over STEP’s 8 year history. Correlation of STEP’s discoveries to other independent studies will be drawn.
STEP is an example of a locally grown program involving a partnership of companies, government, universities/colleges, and the educational system committed to achieve the goal of increasing the numbers of local students qualified to become America’s future scientists and technology professionals. STEP has been an active participant in the science education community in the Inland Empire region of Southern California (Riverside/San Bernardino Counties) for over eight years. STEP partners are committed to making a difference. A two page Executive Summary is attached and provided for convenience.
This background is included to provide the context of how and why NSWC Corona Division and its Navy Metrology Engineering Center chose to participate in STEP as a continuing outreach
Sugg, D., & Fishell, J. (2008, June), Navy Outreach: Science And Technology Education Partnership Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4460
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