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DoDEA Schools Launch New STEM Initiative

April 22-27: Confront Disaster, Engage Your Mind, Save the World!

STEM, Science Technology Engineering Math
Robotics Camp Wiesbaden High School Summer 2011.

ARLINGTON, VA - The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), in collaboration with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), launched a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative in DoDEA schools worldwide. The STEM initiative is a partnership between DoDEA students and educators, and Federal STEM professionals.

"OPM is proud to support DoDEA's STEM Initiative," remarked OPM Director John Berry, "STEM skills will be critical to meeting the challenges of this century. We're glad our current Federal employees can help prepare and inspire tomorrow's leaders and problem-solvers."

"This partnership is focused on real life, problem-based learning opportunities for students to use today's tools to solve tomorrow's problems -- crossing disciplines and having global implications," said DoDEA Director Marilee Fitzgerald.

"The events will usher in a new era of collaboration, cooperation, and communication between DoDEA schools and STEM professionals in our government and in industry," Fitzgerald said, "which complements DoDEA's focus on 21st century teaching and learning."

"Not only will the events expose students to the practical application of STEM disciplines, they will also serve as the catalyst for our students to prepare for the higher levels of math, science, engineering, and computer programming coursework necessary for college, career and life readiness," Fitzgerald said.

The students will focus on disciplines such as Green Technology Engineering, Robotics, Biotechnology, Geophysics, Nuclear Engineering, and Environmental Engineering. They will participate in hands-on learning environments facilitated by DoDEA educators in 16 DoDEA locations worldwide from April 16 - May 11, 2012.

These lessons and activities will be recorded and broadcast to DoDEA students and teachers. The lesson plans developed and used for these STEM events will be collected and stored in a database that can be accessed by DoDEA teachers.

This initiative will showcase a large event held in Oberwesel, Germany from April 22-27. Ninety students from our schools across Europe will join DoDEA educators and a "Dream Team" of five Federal STEM professionals who have been selected from agencies Government-wide including the National Science Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency to participate in the preparation and execution of these lessons. The activity will center around a hypothetical disaster to which the students must use their creative science, technology, engineering, and math skills to produce solutions.

The students will have an opportunity to tour a European Space Center. The Federal STEM professionals will also travel to DoDEA schools to talk with students about opportunities to work for the Federal Government and provide information on coursework that might be helpful to plan for a job as a Federal STEM professional. They will also provide tips on securing an internship in a Federal agency.

A list of all scheduled events and additional information can be found at http://www.dodea.edu/curriculum/profTech.cfm?cId=stem

"The level of competence we have attracted to support our students and teachers is phenomenal -- national and International award winners, Ph.D.s, career veterans of large programs, high ranking officials from all over the U.S. and Pacific," said Dr. Mark Bignell, Chief, Arts, Information & Careers branch, who has oversight for the DoDEA STEM initiative. "We expect great things from this collaboration."