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    ONR sponsor meets with Navy STEM coordinators, county educators

    Ventura County educators meet with ONR sponsor and Navy STEM coordinators on grant initiatives

    Photo By J.W. Marcum | CAMARILLO, Calif.—Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE) representatives, along...... read more read more



    Story by J.W. Marcum 

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

    CAMARILLO, Calif.—Office of Naval Research (ONR) Director of Education and Workforce Dr. Michael Simpson met with local Navy Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Coordinators and Ventura County educators at the Career Education Center on Oct. 12 to discuss STEM outreach programs, Navy career pathways and potential educational funding opportunities for the county.

    The Navy has an ongoing commitment with the Ventura County Office of Education in order to boost STEM learning opportunities for students in the area. Most recently the county has received an ONR grant to begin a mechatronics program in K-12 schools. Simpson is the ONR STEM sponsor for the program.

    Mechatronics is a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering with a focus on control systems. Students also utilize computer science skills, such as coding.

    The group showcased pilot programs and also discussed STEM workforce development to support the hiring of career-minded students who graduate from the programs, notably in providing pathways to employment with the Navy.

    Discussion of education proposals were focused on “the future need for Naval engineers; the increasing growth at the Warfare Centers housed on base; best practices for connecting to education partners; and the value and diversity of home-grown employees,” according to Dr. Tiffany Morse, VCOE executive director.

    The overall STEM experience is based on an education continuum that begins with exposure at a young age through integrated math and science lessons, guest speakers and hands-on projects; followed by recruiting through specialized and advanced programs, competitions and mentoring; advanced content, and pre-engineering programs; and training and specialization through internships, apprenticeships and jobs.

    “This program is very formative to our future force,” said Simpson. “It helps to ensure the Navy has people with the skill sets we need to fulfill our mission and maintain superiority.”

    Simpson imparted to the group something he calls his three-word ‘mantra,’ “align, allocate and accelerate.”

    “Are you ‘aligning’ to the mission; are you ‘allocating’ by looking at your efforts strategically and tactically; and are you ‘accelerating’ positive outcomes?” he said.

    In regards to the STEM continuum, “it is important to instill a sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness,” remarked Simpson. Encouraging students to “try and possibly fail, but that’s part of it, as long as they are willing to try and recognize that’s what engineers and scientists do, taking a failure and building upon it and then sharing knowledge and lessons learned.”

    This philosophy embraces ‘High Velocity Learning,’ one of the Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson’s foundational lines-of-effort.

    Naval Base Ventura County is home to three systems commands, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Naval Air Systems Command, and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). Each command has a STEM coordinator.

    Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division is a field activity of NAVSEA. Dr. Ramon Flores is the command’s STEM outreach coordinator, overseeing programs such as SeaPerch and the Pre-engineering Program.

    The programs demonstrate how engineers use math and science to develop conceptual ideas and problem solve. NSWC PHD is considered a Department of the Navy federal laboratory, which provides a unique learning and research environment. Flores provides students the opportunity to learn and work with the command’s engineers, logisticians, research scientists and professional staff.

    Located at Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., NSWC PHD employs approximately 2,300 personnel and provides the global United States Navy fleet with integration, test and evaluation, life-cycle product support, and in-service engineering for today's and tomorrow's warfare systems.



    Date Taken: 10.23.2017
    Date Posted: 10.23.2017 14:00
    Story ID: 252681
    Location: VENTURA, CA, US 

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