June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.909.1 - 15.909.15
NDEP-Supported K-12 STEM Outreach Activities of the U.S. Air Force
The National Defense Education Program (NDEP) is building a foundation for the future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workforce needs of the Department of Defense (DoD) by supporting science and math programs at the pre-college, undergraduate/graduate, and faculty/postdoctoral levels. At the pre-college (K-12) level, NDEP- supported outreach activities feature in-school, summer camp, and after-school activities with particular emphasis on math-focused, DoD scientist-and-engineer mentored, hands-on, problem- based learning experiences. This paper is devoted to describing both the composition and the assessments of two K-12 level, NDEP-supported, outreach activities of the U.S. Air Force.
Background and Motivation
The DoD recognizes the downward trend shown by U.S. students in their knowledge of and their participation in STEM as an area of critical concern to national security. Basic science and mathematics competence, gained in grades K-12, form the foundation of an educated, capable, technical future work force for DoD. The objective of NDEP is to support the education and development of such a future workforce by establishing a DoD-wide program to invigorate the science and mathematics curriculum, to enhance teaching skills of science and mathematics teachers to deliver the curriculum, and to increase the level of awareness, interest and active participation of students in STEM activities, projects, and academics. The overall strategy is to have DoD scientists and engineers partner with educational institutions to make direct connections between the curricula and the practice of science and engineering.
The motivation for such educational outreach programs is well known. Among the features that such programs are designed to include are providing real-world exposure to the use of science and engineering for middle and high-school students, enhancing the technical literacy of the general population, and increasing the number of U.S. citizens earning degrees in science and engineering.
Two Air Force K-12 programs will be described. They are the Dayton Regional STEM Center Partnership at the Wright Patterson AFB (WPAFB), OH, and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) La Luz Academy at the Kirtland AFB (KAFB), NM.
The Dayton Regional STEM Center Partnership
WPAFB’s AFRL/XPPD, Domestic Partnering Branch, was selected by DoD as the coordinator responsible for the NDEP implementation in the state of Ohio. The selection was made based on the strong series of on-going STEM programs at AFRL been managed by XPPD. One of these programs is the Dayton Regional STEM Center partnership. The Center was created in 2007 via a National Governors Association competitive process to be the hub of STEM curriculum design, training and support for educators in order to advance the goal of preparing all students with the
Mora, G., & Negron, R., & McGahern, R., & Brown, E. (2010, June), Ndep Supported K 12 Stem Outreach Activities Of The Us Air Force Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16121
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