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Ndep Supported K 12 Stem Outreach Activities Of The Us Air Force

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Thinking, Reasoning & Engineering in Elementary School

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.909.1 - 15.909.15

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Paper Authors


Gerald Mora New Mexico Tech

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Gerald Mora is the Director of New Mexico Tech's Technology Transfer Support Group and the State of New Mexico Partnership Intermediary for the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Kirtland Air Force Base. Mr. Mora was awarded the 2001 New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award for his development Kirtland’s La Luz program. Mr Mora has numerous publications based on his Systems Engineering work and his passion for education outreach.

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Ricardo Negron WPAFB

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RICARDO NEGRON--Ricardo Negron is currently the Chief of the Domestic Partnering Branch at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFRL). Mr. Negron represents AFRL in STEM-related educational outreach activities and provides advice on the formulation of industrial, academic, and government partnerships. He holds degrees from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (electrical engineering) and the University of Dayton.

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Robert McGahern DDR&E

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Robert McGahern is the Director of the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) Pre-Engineering Partnerships (PEP) initiative for the Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). Prior to his current position Mr. McGahern served as Deputy Director of the N-STAR initiative at the Office of Naval Research.

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Eugene Brown Virginia Tech

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Eugene Brown is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He has worked with ONR and DoD since 2001 on educational-outreach-related work-force development issues. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics and is the author of many papers and reports describing his research in the areas of computational fluid dynamics, fluid mechanics, and his work in educational outreach.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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.

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