DoDEA & USACE Forging Partnerships-Empowering STEM
HEADQUATERS, DODEA — May 24, 2013 — The Department of Defense Education Activity is making a commitment to further develop its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum for its students.
DoDEA Director, Marilee Fitzgerald and Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a joint partnership to enhance DoDEA's STEM program in a ceremony recently held at Ashurst Elementary School on Marine Corps Base Quantico.
This partnership, the first STEM-based initiative between the U.S. Army and DoDEA, aligns the missions, abilities and resources of both DoDEA and USACE to advance STEM in elementary and middle school courses of study. Through this initiative, USACE interns will work side-by-side with DoDEA students to design projects and experiments that look at real world problems, and develop solutions to solve them using STEM based problem solving methods and curriculum.
Lt. Gen. Bostick told the audience at Ashurst that he is personally excited about the aligning of the two agencies for STEM-based education.
"It's a great honor to work with Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald and the Department of Defense Activity, DoDEA, to help our Department of Defense schools," said Bostick.
"We have soldiers and civilians working in 132 countries, so we're already on the ground. We're perfectly positioned to use our talents and expertise, much on a volunteering basis to reach out to youngsters so that the country has the STEM graduates that it needs."
DoDEA is thinking ahead when it comes to STEM, and Ms. Fitzgerald describes the importance this opportunity for DoDEA students.
"These are the kinds of experiences we want all of our students to have, and we look forward to this partnership in particular as we move forward in meeting our new goals for the 21st century." she said.
The highlight of the ceremony was a special STEM-welcome by a robot built by middle school students. The robots escorted Ms. Fitzgerald and Lt. Gen. Bostick to their special VIP seats. Following the ceremony, students showcased their STEM achievements.
Thomas, one of the robot engineers, explained why STEM is important to him.
"STEM is important because in the future, scientist all over the world will be upgrading our technology to help us, and make things easier in the future," he said.
"So in our generation, we need to study in robotics, to be a head, to fix and make these types of appliances, so we can help the future generations of our world."