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    Creating Generation Stem

    JSTO in the News

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    Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Chemical and Biological Technologies Department focuses on safeguarding the warfighter and nation from chem-bio threats. Driven by the motto to “out-innovate” adversaries, DTRA CB develops the tools to protect against tomorrow’s threats. But to continue to do so, the department must look into the future and address a significant issue — a decline in highly-skilled workers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

    For at least ten years, educators have known that U.S. children are behind in STEM fields. Data obtained from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), one of the largest cross-national tests for math and science literacy, still places U.S. children in the middle of the pack, but behind several developed nations. The most recent PISA, taken in 2015, placed the U.S. 38th in math and 24th in science out of 71 countries.

    In fact, international students are projected to make up half of all U.S. STEM Ph.D. graduates within the next two years. Only 48 percent of international students say they want to stay in the U.S., representing the potential for a precipitous brain drain in some of our nation’s most important career fields.

    With lackluster STEM skills, how will DTRA CB continue to “out innovate,” while building a more lethal force and protecting them to survive? It’s simple — they can’t.

    Addressing the issue head-on, DTRA CB started the annual Joint Science and Technology Institute (JSTI) six years ago. JSTI has inspired more than 200 high school and 60 middle school students to become passionate about STEM, while empowering more than 35 teachers to motivate countless others. In fact, three school STEM clubs have formed as a result of JSTI.

    Focused on confronting academic challenges to ensure a future of STEM excellence, JSTI is a two-week, hands-on residential program, which pairs both teachers and students with mentors from the Chemical and Biological Defense Program. While middle and high school students focus on real-world applications, teachers are trained on effective STEM instruction for the classroom.

    JSTI is by far DTRA CB’s largest STEM program, but it is not their only. They also participate in several other STEM activities such as the annual Albuquerque Discover Fest, teaching New Mexico youth about disease surveillance, and the USA Science and Engineering Festival, held in our nation’s capital. Last year’s festival reached more than 365,000 children from kindergarten to college, with approximately 10,000 visiting the DTRA CB booth.

    As an organization, DTRA CB believes that their commitment to today’s youth should pave the way towards solving the chemical and biological challenges of tomorrow.

    POC: Dale Taylor; dale.e.taylor4.civ@mail.mil



    Date Taken: 04.26.2018
    Date Posted: 04.26.2018 11:43
    Story ID: 274619
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VA, US 

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