STEM event image

NSWC Dahlgren Division Commander Capt. Michael Smith observes students at a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Summer Academy team rescue a ship in distress with a robot they programmed in a simulated event. [Photo Credit: Jane Bachman, NSWCDD Virginia STEM Learning Module Coordinator].

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Mission: Provide Departmental leadership in STEM through policy development and oversight leveraging intradepartmental collaboration and interagency cooperation.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) underpin DoD’s ability to defend the Nation and to assure the vitality of the Nation’s defense industrial base. Developing a highly competent STEM workforce requires partnerships among government, industry, and academia. Emerging mission requirements continue to pose great STEM workforce challenges for DoD.

The Department’s Strategic Plan outlines a path forward to ensure that the Department has the STEM expertise necessary to develop technological solutions in an ever-changing threat environment. This plan affords DoD components the ability to tailor their approach to achieve these objectives.

  • Air Force STEM: A tool that coordinates and connects Air Force STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs across the Air Force enterprise.
  • Army's Educational Outreach Program (AEOP): Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
  • Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics (STEM) Education 5-Year Strategic Plan: A Report from the Committee on STEM Education National Science and Technology Council, May 2013.
  • National Defense Education Program (NDEP): Enhances students and world-class researchers' interest in DoD by offering opportunities for direct engagement with DoD labs and Component technical staff.
  • National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowships (NSSEFF): Provides long-term funding to 29 eminent scholars at top U.S. universities. These scholars engage nearly 400 undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs in executing their research and provide a bridge to DoD research facilities.
  • President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST): An advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American people.
  • Navy's STEM to Stern (STEM2Stern) Program: An information portal for students, teachers, counselors, and mentors. It is a tool that coordinates and connects Naval STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs across the Naval enterprise.
  • Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) program: A scholarship-for-service program that has funded approximately 1,200 of our nation's most talented undergraduate and graduate students in 19 fields critical to the DoD STEM enterprise.
  • Systems Engineering Capstone: A pilot program designed to increase systems engineering skills in engineering students and increase the pipeline of systems engineers available to DoD. 300 undergraduate and graduate students at 5 universities, 5 military institutions, and 6 partners have participated in the pilot program alongside DoD civilian, military, and industry mentors.

For more information, contact


"One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology, engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the respect that they deserve."

President Obama, Third Annual White House Science Fair, April 2013


STEM Header Image
Dept of Defense US Air Force OASAALT RDECOM ONR NRL US Air Force Joint Chiefs of Staff Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Force Health Protection & Readiness Defense Threat Reduction Agency Missile Defense Agency Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization Chemical & Biological Defense Program