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Defense STEM Education Consortium Welcomes Four New Innovation Partners

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Defense Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Education Consortium (DSEC), supported by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), has selected four new organizations to include in DSEC’s Innovation Bloc Funding for 2021. The selected programs will support the Department’s efforts to strengthen career pathways among military-connected students and groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, as well as one of its modernization priorities, biotechnology.*  The organizations are as follows:

  • Learning Undefeated 
    Learning Undefeated (LU) provides life-changing STEM experiences for high-needs communities by providing equitable access to education and inspiring students to imagine their own success. Through innovative and experiential programs for grades K-12, LU programs are sure to spark student interest in biotechnology. Based in Maryland, LU offers a diverse set of programs, including a mobile laboratory program, a science explorer program for middle-school students, a college and career symposium, student competitions, afterschool programs, and tech-oriented programs such as serious gaming, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things.

  • Robeson Community College
    Robeson Community College (RCC) is a Minority Serving Institution as designated by the U.S. Department of Education and a perfect fit for increasing awareness about how STEM certifications can lead to DoD STEM careers, particularly through internships with the Department.  Located in southeastern North Carolina, RCC is committed to improving STEM education and training for its rural, minority population. Through STEM program offerings, enhanced student support services, and internships, RCC will increase the number of qualified graduates who are work-ready or ready for degree advancement. The college offers academic, technical, and life-long learning in a collaborative culture dedicated to inquiry, results, and excellence.
  • San Diego Miramar College
    San Diego Miramar College's (SDMC) mission is to prepare students for life after graduation by providing quality instruction and services in an environment that supports and promotes success, diversity, inclusion, and equity with innovative programs and partnerships to facilitate student completion of degrees/certificates, transfer to a university, begin workforce training, and/or prepare for career advancement.  SDMC offers over 160 degrees and certificates for a student body approaching 16,000 people, with a strong emphasis on biotechnology subject areas, which are in high demand among San Diego’s vibrant high-tech community as well as the Department’s laboratories associated with the U.S. Navy.  The new program will provide direct opportunities for laboratory internships. The school, located in an area with a significant population of military-connected families, emphasizes transformative processes that include a culture of evidence, collaborative inquiry, and action for promoting student success.   
  • St. Petersburg College
    St. Petersburg College (SPC) alumni rank first in Florida for possessing the most valuable job skills among two-year colleges. Founded in 1927, SPC was an innovator in education right from the start when it became the first two-year college to also offer bachelor’s degrees.  It now offers more than 110 degree and certificate programs, including many high-demand, high-skill industry-recognized workforce certifications. The school’s career-focused curriculum is created with input from industry experts to give students the skills they need to meet the needs of today’s employers. The new DoD-supported Pathways Program raises awareness of DoD STEM internships and careers and provides students with a clear roadmap to the right courses - in the right sequence - to meet their goals.

*The Department’s full list of modernization priorities are located at https://www.cto.mil/modernization-priorities/  

DSEC is a collaborative partnership that aims to broaden STEM literacy and develop a diverse and agile workforce with the technical excellence to defend our Nation. By addressing and prioritizing critical STEM challenges, DoD is investing in evidence-based approaches to inspire and develop the Nation’s science and technology workforce. Through strategic investment in STEM education and outreach activities, DSEC will provide students with more exposure to educational and career opportunities, as well as DoD research. DSEC is led on behalf of DoD STEM by RTI International. For more information, visit https://dodstem.us/stem-programs/partners.