San Diego, California - In conjunction with the start of the Fleet Week San Diego, the Sweetwater Union High School District was presented with an $8.5 million Department of Defense (DoD) grant to begin implementation of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) College Readiness Program in 10 high schools to support student's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The presentation took place at the Broadway Pier on Thursday.
Rear Adm. Carl Chebi, the Navy's Program Executive Officer for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) was on hand to provide remarks about the importance of a solid base of STEM education for the nation's youth.
Chebi spoke about his career, noting that at the center of all his experiences and opportunities was the STEM education that he received in high school and college.
"It is so important to ensure our military families have access to high-quality education such as STEM and Advanced Placement courses. My kids have been fortunate to be able to participate in both the STEM and Advanced placement programs throughout their school years, and for that, I am truly grateful," said Chebi.
The DoD and the Department of the Navy have a vested interest in mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers. The Navy employs more than 100,000 civilian and military scientists, engineers and technicians in STEM-related fields and the technologies Sailors work with today and will work with in the future drives the need for a force well-founded in STEM education.
"In the Navy, we work from the depths of the ocean to the limits of space -- and everywhere in between. Science, technology, engineering, and math are all vital components of the work we do and critical to our continued success," said Chebi. "The Navy really cares about STEM, and more importantly, about growing the next generation of leaders."
NMSI works to expand access to challenging coursework and improve student achievement through programs and partnerships with schools and districts nationwide. They provide training and support for teachers and give students the resources they need to develop and demonstrate knowledge and skills that will propel them throughout their lives.
The College Readiness Program increases the number of students taking and exceling in college-level math, science and English classes, with an emphasis on increasing access and achievement among traditionally underrepresented students.
NMSI has been formally serving the schools educating the children of uniformed active-duty military personnel since 2010 and the College Readiness Program has been implemented in 217 military-connected high schools across 31 states, serving 93 installations and all four military services.
"Our nation's military leaders tell us quality education is a principal concern for all military families and the availability of that education often drives the decision to accept new assignments or remain in the service. We owe these children the finest education opportunities we can possibly provide," said NMSI president, Gregg Fleisher.
Also a part of Fleet Week San Diego is the "Innovation Zone." This space will host a combination of STEM and high-tech focused displays geared to attract students, service members, their families, and the public. There will be numerous vendor booths and interactive displays focused on new and emerging technologies to encourage participation in STEM education programs.
Space and Naval Systems Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific will be there to facilitate a number of activities and experiments focusing on foundational STEM concepts. They will also showcase their augmented and virtual reality technologies with hands on demonstrations.
"This is our third year participating in Fleet Week," said Ahn Nuzen, SSC Pacific STEM coordinator. "Fleet Week provides the perfect opportunity for us to interact with students from all over San Diego, especially those from military families. Our goal is to encourage the study of science, technology, engineering and math and show how those fields can be applied to future employment."
PEO C4I and SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific continue to grow robust programs to connect with their communities to spark interest and add richness to classrooms in STEM areas of study.
Fleet Week San Diego will run through October 17, honoring and celebrating the men and women of the military through public events that entertain and alliances that support and thank these service members.
About PEO C4I
PEO C4I develops, acquires, deploys and sustains the most effective and affordable Naval Information Warfare capabilities Navy Warfighters need to accomplish their mission.
About Fleet Week San Diego
The San Diego Fleet Week Foundation, is a California Non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, whose mission is to honor and support San Diego Military members by staging an annual Week long series of events which thank these heroes for their service to our country.