STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Programs

The STEM Program is a curriculum based around educating students in four specific disciplines and those disciplines are Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; hence the term STEM. This methodology treats these four disciplines differently compared to non-STEM Curriculum, they are treated in a interdisciplinary and applied approach. This means that the four subjects are integrated in such a manner that they form a cohesive educative paradigm that better simulates the real-world applications of these four subjects. This approach to teaching these four fields means that people who pursue careers in one of these fields are better prepared and more flexible in a variety of situations regarding these four subjects than people who haven't received a STEM education.

NAWCTSD and the STEM Program

The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD) supports Navy and Department of Defense (DoD) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs throughout the Central Florida community and beyond. Through the National Defense Education Program (NDEP), NAWCTSD is addressing the nation’s challenge to educate, train, recruit, and retain personnel in STEM-critical skills in shortfall disciplines for National Security and Defense.

The Navy’s STEM is built around five priorities:

  1. Inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers (S&Es).
  2. Engage students and build their STEM confidence and skills through hands-on learning activities.
  3. Educate students to be well prepared for employment in STEM careers.
  4. Employ, retain, and develop Naval STEM professionals.
  5. Collaborate on STEM efforts across the Department of the Navy, the Federal government, and best practice organizations.

NAWCTSD STEM is proud to share its current FY21 outreach impact metrics:

  • Geographic reach across 7 Florida counties, and growing: Brevard, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia.
  • 44,194 Students directly impacted through STEM initiatives and events
  • 5,640 Teachers directly impacted through STEM professional development and support
  • 130 DoD S&E volunteers and mentors participation
  • 21 unique events, including increased virtual outreach engagement during COVID restrictions

While NAWCTSD’s official implementation of NDEP-supported STEM initiatives began in late 2009, it has had a 25-year partnership with the Blankner School (K-8) in Orange County, Florida. NAWCTSD has provided mentors, laboratory tours, job-shadow opportunities, and awards/incentives for these students. NAWCTSD has also had strong relationships with the University of Central Florida (UCF), providing internship opportunities for UCF students.

NAWCTSD provides high school and college students with summer internship opportunities, to include the following programs: Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP), Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP), and Joint Educational Opportunities for Minorities (JEOM).

Numerous STEM development opportunities are also provided for the NAWCTSD workforce such as Naval Post Graduate School courses for degrees/certifications, Defense Acquisition University (DAU) courses and certifications, Naval Air Systems Command leadership development courses, and Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program.

Today, NAWCTSD is committed to energizing STEM education in regional schools by partnering our scientists and engineers with teachers in classrooms to facilitate inquiry and design project-based learning. It also provides training opportunities for professional development of science and math teachers, and provides mentors for robotics teams and summer interns. Tours of NAWCTSD laboratories and demonstrations of modeling and simulation technologies for students and educators are also central to the program. NAWCTSD also supports science fairs, teach-ins, science/technology field trips, and summer camps.

Starbase Central Florida

NAWCTSD supports Navy and DoD STEM programs throughout Central Florida. Through the National Defense Education Program (NDEP), NAWCTSD is addressing the nation's challenge to educate, train, recruit and retain personnel in STEM-critical skills in shortfall disciplines for National Security and Defense.

One of the ways NAWCTSD is working to accomplish this mission is by opening the first Navy DoD Starbase in over 10 years. DoD STARBASE is a premier educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. At DoD STARBASE students participate in challenging “hands-on, minds-on” activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the “real world.” The program provides students with 25 hours of stimulating experiences.

DoD STARBASE’s primary focus is the program for fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore STEM opportunities as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically under represented in STEM. Students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance, or have a disability are in the target group. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.

In 2022, during the inaugural year of operation, over 300 cadets from seven schools have graduated from our 25 hour STARBASE program. 

Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP)

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP), is an amazing opportunity for high school students to become apprentices at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory during the summer break. The goals that this program sets are simple in scope and scale, but for the participants it can have far reaching affects. The main purpose of SEAP is to encourage participating high school students to pursue careers in the fields of engineering and science, to allow for them to have real life experience applied to their education allowing them to use what they have learned while also learning new skills via mentoring from laboratory personnel, being made aware of DoN research and technology efforts, networking with peers, and setting the ground work for possible employment in the Navy as a civilian. SEAP offers highly competitive, full-time paid, eight-week long research internships at the high school level, something that is difficult to find in the private sector. There are some 250 high school students selected from high schools, assisting research efforts across roughly 30 DoN Laboratories. The application period opens on August 1st and runs until November 2nd. NAWCTSD fills a unique niche in this since we work not only with the Navy but all other branches of the armed forces this includes the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP)

The Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) allows students to do research at a Department of Navy (DoN) Laboratory during the summer. The goals of this program is to enhance the education that they have received in school through mentoring by laboratory personnel and participation in research, to apply what they've learned to the real world, to make them aware of DoN research and technology efforts, to build a network with their peers, and possible employment within the Department of Navy. NREIP internships are highly competitive research internships, with roughly 700 college students selected from different colleges, conducting research across about 40 different laboratories across the country for ten weeklong paid full-time internships. The application period opens in early August and runs until early November. NAWCTSD fills a unique niche in this since we work not only with the Navy but all other branches of the armed forces this includes the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force.


Contact STEM Outreach:

(407) 380-8333 or by email.