What is STEM?


The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Program is a curriculum based around educating students in those four specific disciplines. STEM is interdisciplinary and integrates an applied approach to learning. This creates a cohesive paradigm that better simulates real-world applications. STEM graduates are more prepared for their careers after developing a diverse set of skills, knowledge and experience.


STEM Serves:

  • PreK - 5th Grade Students 

  • 6th - 12th Grade Students 

  • Undergraduate Students and Interns 

  • College Graduates, Graduate Students and Entry Level Employees 

  • Journeymen and Mid-Professionals

  • Educators, Families and Professionals 

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 FY24 (Updated Dec. 2023) outreach impact metrics:

  • Geographic reach across 9 Florida counties, and growing: Miami-Dade, Pinellas, Brevard, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia.
  • 327,624 Students directly impacted through STEM initiatives and events.
  • 11,423 Teachers directly impacted through STEM professional development and support.
  • 496 DoD S&E volunteers and mentors participation
  • 44 unique events, including increased virtual outreach engagement during COVID restrictions.

FY23 Highlights

NAWCTSD continues management of 3 STARBASE contracts

  • Year 3 of STARBASE Central Florida and year 2 of STARBASE Pensacola STEM Academies are underway.

DoD STARBASE Central Florida STEM Academy operated by National Center for Simulation

  • 968 students engaged 1054 hours of participation
    • 680 cadets graduated (Elementary 4th-5th graders)
    • 220 Middle School + 68 High School students participated in STARBASE 2.0 or STARBASE-GEMS near peers programs
  • 90 Facilitators/Teachers (Near-Peer Mentors, College Assistants, FL Virtual School Teachers, University Faculty and DoDEA Teachers)
  • 30 Military and Civilian Subject Matter Expert Volunteers provided demonstrations and presentations
  • ROI is documented - STEM students participating in original summer programs are now serving as the Near Peers and Program Leaders supporting the STEM talent pipeline

Expanded Robotics Outreach

  • $52,538 in DoD STEM grant awards supports 85 FIRST Explore, Challenge/Lego, Tech and FRC teams including 21 rookie teams
  • Supports 2,800+ K-12 students from 48 DoD Mentors from ALL branches-civilian and uniformed/deployed service members across 3 states (Florida, California & Virginia)

Community Outreach

  • SeaPerch Workshops with USNSCC Winter Park
  • 330+ NAVAIR Samsung Tablets transferred to underserved students in Volusia County via our EPA!
  • Team Orlando holds its first annual Central Florida Regional SEAPERCH Competition and put Central Florida back on the map with Robo-Nation!

*Save the Date! Saturday, March 16, 2024, upcoming SeaPerch competition at UCF and we need you to help judge!*

DoD STARBASE Central Florida STEM Academy

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.