STARward STEM Launches Their 2022-2023 Program Year
Local educators visited a variety of local sites June 1 to better understand the STEM ecosystem in the Cumberland County area as part of the STARward STEM program. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Among the sites were the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, where teachers toured museum exhibits and engaged in a challenge activity to envision STEM connections to classroom instruction. Several other sites hosted tours, including Booz Allen Hamilton, Emerging Technology Institute, Cape Fear Botanical Garden, the Public Works Commission, Fayetteville State University, Methodist University and Fayetteville Technical Community College.
At Booz Allen Hamilton, educators received a brief on the Enterprise Machine Learning Analytics and Persistent Services program supporting their client on Fort Bragg. At the Emerging Technologies Institute, teachers met up with ETI staff and regional partners, including Epic Games and the Robeson Community College Robotics team, to learn about STEM applications in robotics, game development, and drones.
At Cape Fear Botanical Garden, teachers toured the gardens, learned about education programming, and discussed connections to STEM and student learning. At FTCC, representatives from STEM-related departments engaged in a panel discussion focused on how to bridge the gap between secondary and post-secondary education from the perspective of program leaders, faculty, and students.
At Fayetteville State, teachers toured robotics labs, and visited the planetarium and the Center for Defense and Homeland Security. The visit included a panel discussion with STEM professors to discuss skills students need for success in higher education. At Methodist, teachers learned about the school’s forensics program, toured labs, and discussed the skills students need for success in higher ed STEM program.
The day concluded with a special presentation on “Why Space Matters” by former NASA astronaut Dr. Bernard Harris.
STARward STEM is a collaboration between Cumberland County Schools, RTI International, Emerging Technology Institute and other partners. The Department of Defense STEM funded the three-year program to support equitable access to high-quality STEM education opportunities for youth in CCS. The program is focused on space, a priority of Department of Defense Research and Engineering.