December 7, 2022

DVIDS – News – Scientific success stories: Naval STEM highlights student outreach efforts in 2021


This has been a busy year as the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) Naval STEM Coordination Office, located at the Office of Naval Research (ONR), has expanded its offerings for high school and college students.

These activities included a flight academy; a virtual question-and-answer event with astronauts working at the International Space Station; and an online essay competition designed to introduce students to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics impacting the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

“Naval STEM aims to inspire, cultivate and develop exceptional talent by providing a continuum of opportunities for students,” said Rear Admiral Lorin C. Selby, Chief of Naval Research (CNR). “This allows them to apply their academic knowledge in a real context through internships and summer programs, conducted both virtually and in naval facilities.”

The DoN Naval STEM coordination office oversees investments in education, awareness and workforce initiatives. This enables the United States to train the technical workforce necessary to keep the Navy and Marine Corps at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation.

“Navy STEM professionals in DoN laboratories and centers provide unique STEM experiences for students and educators to complement the knowledge, skills and abilities developed in the classroom and in school,” said Sandy. Landsberg, who is both the head of the navy’s STEM coordination office and a directorate of the Information, Cyber ​​and Spectrum Superiority department of the ONR.

“The opportunity for students to put what they have learned into practice benefits them and the DoN,” Landsberg continued. “This application of their knowledge could potentially lead to solutions to real world naval challenges.”

Some STEM naval highlights include:

1. Virtual and hybrid options to ONR’s Naval Research Company Internship Program (NREIP) and Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP). These are DoN’s main STEM internship programs and have traditionally been in-person initiatives. NREIP is a 10-week undergraduate and graduate research internship opportunity in one of nearly 30 naval laboratories or war centers. SEAP is an eight-week high school learning opportunity in one of nearly 25 naval laboratories or war centers. This summer, 570 college interns took part in NREIP and 176 high school interns took part in SEAP. Both programs also unveiled new websites and social media sites this year.

2. NREIP Fall Commitment. NRIEP’s fall engagement was a short-term virtual internship designed to introduce students to cutting-edge research in naval science and technology. The internship also provided the students with mentorship with scientists and engineers from the DoN. This internship is a spin-off from NREIP and broadens student participation by providing the opportunity to students who were not accepted into NREIP or had to decline the NREIP offer. This year’s program served more than 200 students in 15 Navy laboratories and war centers.

3. The Naval Horizons Student Essay Contest. This initiative was designed to introduce high school and college students to cutting-edge topics impacting the Navy and Marine Corps. It does this through engaging online videos spanning over 20 research areas including autonomy, oceanography, cybersecurity, and underwater medicine. The video series highlights a diverse set of scientists, engineers and naval trainees discussing their work to raise awareness of the challenges of naval S&T.

Last summer, a second competition was held, in which high school students watched the videos and then submitted a short essay explaining how they were inspired by naval research and the naval workforce. Large turnout resulted in over 9,000 video views and over 400 students selected as cash prize winners. In addition, the participation of under-represented students was significant.

4. Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Flight Academy. This new effort, in partnership with the Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Commander, Naval Air Forces is an eight-week program that offered students affiliated with the NJROTC the opportunity to obtain a private pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration. Four students, none of whom had any flying experience, graduated. The STEM program included academics in aviation (weather, human factors design, etc.) as well as 45 hours of flight training, including 17 hours of solo flying.

5. National Astronaut Downlink Trainee Day. Naval STEM coordinated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in honor of National Trainee Day on July 29. NASA hosted a downlink conversation with astronauts serving on the International Space Station. The astronauts responded to questions submitted to Naval STEM by NREIP and SEAP trainees from five naval laboratories and war centers.

6. National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Scholarship Conference (GNEDN). Executives from Naval STEM, DoN and Principal Investigators attended the 2nd Annual NDSEG Fellowship Conference in July. The Department of Defense (DoD) scholarship program is sponsored by the U.S. military, navy, and air force to promote science and engineering education, providing scholarships to scientists promising Americans to pursue doctorates in STEM research disciplines.

The conference provided scholarship recipients with the opportunity to meet and network with current and former scholars, as well as senior DoD officials, scientists and engineers. Attendees were also briefed on employment, internships, mentoring, and other research funding opportunities at DoD. Highlights from the DoN included overviews of the Naval Research Enterprise and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), given respectively by Dr Jason Stack, ONR Director for Oceanic, Atmospheric and Space Research and Chairman of the Autonomous Systems Strategy Development Team, and by Dr Bruce. Danly, research director of LNR.

7. 59th National Junior Symposium in Sciences and Humanities (NJSHS). In April, Naval STEM participated in the NJSHS, sponsoring the science fair judges and congratulating CNR Selby at the awards ceremony. JSHS is a DoD program that encourages high school students to conduct research, collaborate with mentors and experts, and develop their skills and talents. NJSHS brings together the best students who qualify by presenting original scientific research papers at regional symposia. All regional finalists are invited to present their research to the NJSHS to compete for scholarships and cash prizes. This year, over $ 200,000 was awarded to 48 oral and poster competition winners.

8. Participation in the Navy League STEM Sea-Air-Space exhibition on August 1st. The DoN organized 10 booths with hands-on STEM activities for grades 5-12 students. The engagement helped introduce students to DoN as well as STEM topics and challenges that impact the Navy. As this was the first in-person STEM event the Naval STEM team had attended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it included new protocols to ensure the health and safety of all participants.

9. Winners of the DoD STEM Education and Outreach Advocate of the Quarter (SAQ). Each quarter, DoD STEM recognizes outstanding civilians, uniformed personnel, or teams who have excelled in STEM education and awareness with the DoD SAQ award. Only four prizes are awarded each year. In 2021, the DoN received two awards.

10. Buffalo Navy Week and Columbia Navy Week. Navy Weeks serve as an outreach effort to educate Americans about how the Navy is deployed around the world and why a strong Navy is vital to protecting the American way of life. This year, Naval STEM has coordinated with the Navy Office of Community Outreach and the US Naval Academy to host STEM awareness activities for elementary through high school students and educators during Navy Weeks in Buffalo, New York. ) and Columbia (South Carolina). The integration of naval STEM content into Navy Weeks introduces students to science and technology careers supporting the DoN.

11. Transition of First Year Students to University Research and Technology (FreshSTART). FreshSTART is a five-week naval summer deck training camp initiated by the DoN Historically Black Colleges and Universities / Minority Institutions (HBCU / MI) program, located at ONR. FreshSTART welcomes new HBCU / MI freshmen interested in earning an undergraduate degree in a STEM discipline. It provides students with intense exposure to STEM course workload and activities, with the aim of increasing academic achievement in the first year. Classes include chemistry, physics, calculus, computer programming, and “soft skills” such as public speaking, networking, and professional development. Florida A&M University virtually hosted the pilot program with the goal of expanding it locally and at other institutions serving minorities.

Learn more about Naval STEM at

Warren Duffie Jr. is an entrepreneur for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

Date taken: 22.12.2021
Date posted: 12.22.2021 13:16
Story ID: 411789
Site: ARLINGTON, Virginia, United States

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