Science & Technology Corner

DoD Article for OSTP Blog Post DoD’s STEM Diversity Campaign (SDC) Participation at the USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF)

The objective of the Department of Defense (DoD)’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Diversity Campaign (SDC) is to foster awareness, build skills, and widen pathways into the Department’s technical workforce for women and underrepresented minorities. The SDC focuses on communities around the country in which DoD has a significant science and technology presence. In alignment with the Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan, the SDC aims to better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields by working with relevant stakeholder communities.

As an initiative of the SDC, DoD will sponsor Viva Technology, an award-winning STEM awareness program, for students from high-need Washington, D.C. public schools. DoD volunteers in the D.C. metropolitan region will participate with partner schools by providing mentors, coaches, summer activities, and professional development of STEM teachers.

Great Minds in STEM (GMiS), a Los Angeles-based non-profit, has delivered Viva Technology to more than 100,000 inner city and rural students in 18 states. GMiS works in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NASA, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as well as corporate sponsors including Boeing, IBM, Motorola, and Shell.

Through the SDC, an exclusive hands-on Viva Technology activity will be accessible to students on April 25th, 2014 from 9am to 3pm at the USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF) in Washington, DC. DoD is sponsoring a special event called “Sneak Peek Friday” which is open to school groups, homeschoolers and military families to preview and experience the EXPO exhibits before they open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday, April 26th and 27th, 2014. At this sneak peek event, 1,200 school buses and over 35,000 students from the Washington metropolitan area will set the stage for the Festival kick-off celebrating diversity in STEM at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The USASEF was selected as the venue to showcase this SDC’s initiative because the nation’s capital encompasses an especially large concentration of DoD technical assets. These include the corporate laboratories of the Army and Navy as well as the headquarters of the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Navy Yard, the Carderock Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and Marine Corps Base Quantico. Dozens of volunteer scientists and engineers from these and other sites will provide a rich array of enjoyable learning opportunities for students, parents, and teachers at the Festival. The SDC is a collaborative effort bringing together the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Engineering, the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, and the military services in support of diversity in STEM for the DoD.

Updated 3/28/14
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