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Posted 4/17/2014

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By Todd Hornback, public affairs

Louisville District employees joined Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), at Scott Middle School, Fort Knox, Ky., April 10 as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education outreach to students.

STEM ED is a partnership between Department of Defense Education Activities schools and USACE to leverage the strengths of both organizations.

"In March, we kicked off the USACE-DoDEA STEM ED Program with 25 Louisville District engineering professionals interacting with and inspiring 7th and 8th grade science students in 13 classrooms at Scott Middle School on Fort Knox," said Marilyn Lewis, chief of the Louisville District Engineering Division and district’s STEM ED program liaison. "The Scott Middle School program consists of five sessions and is one of seven schools in the STEM ED pilot program for the 2013/2014 school year."

The work with Fort Knox schools shows the commitment to teaming with others to strengthen STEM-related programs that inspire current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields. The effort to recruit highly capable, dedicated and skilled STEM professionals is a national issue—not just a DoD or USACE challenge. Interacting with young people and getting them passionate about STEM early on is a symbiotic relationship.

"We had a wonderful engagement at Fort Knox. Louisville District volunteers made a huge impact and were much appreciated by the students, faculty and DoDEA. Great team effort," said Bostick after his visit to the schools.

STEM ED program is part of a national pilot program which kicked off at seven Department of Defense Dependents Schools co-located with USACE districts. The program is different from other programs because it is embedded in the classroom and tied to the curriculum. Conceptual understanding is built in and the program provides face-to-face, hands-on, and long-term interaction with teachers and students.

The students at Scott Middle worked with the same concept as the national program: building strong structures that withstand the forces of nature. The program requires a minimum of two USACE volunteers to include military, civilian engineers and scientists at each of the pilot schools.

leaders STEM