Federal Report Highlights NRL STEM Outreach Effort

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory’s STEM education efforts were recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology and the National Science and Technology Council last month in a federal report.

Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education,” highlighted NRL’s 25-year partnership with the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI).

The HBCU/MI internship at NRL is a 10-week comprehensive, multi-disciplinary program where students work in a specific science or technology field with an accompanying researcher acting as a mentor.

Undergraduate and graduate students studying in science, technology engineering, math fields are offered summer internships to foster a potential workforce pipeline for the Navy.

WASHINGTON — Chanel Person, senior chemistry major at Hampton University and 3- year veteran of NRL’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) internship, shows how research involving packaging double-stranded DNA in viral capsids is conducted. Person, a chemistry major, gained considerable experience in molecular biology, which is an advantage of the 10-week multi-disciplinary internship.  (U.S. Navy Photo by: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

WASHINGTON — Chanel Person, senior chemistry major at Hampton University and 3- year veteran of NRL’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) internship, shows how research involving packaging double-stranded DNA in viral capsids is conducted. Person, a chemistry major, gained considerable experience in molecular biology, which is an advantage of the 10-week multi-disciplinary internship. (U.S. Navy Photo by: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

In this setting, interns develop their talent and a closer understanding of what it means to conduct STEM research.

Interns also attend scientific and skills seminars on topics including laboratory safety, ethics, and even professional development workshops in job-searching, interviewing skills, and resume writing.

“The program has succeeded for more than 25 years because [NRL] researchers are dedicated to developing the talent for the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Paul Charles, a research chemist with NRL’s center for bio/molecular science and engineering and primary STEM program coordinator.

WASHINGTON — Rojae White, physics major at Alabama A&M University views a test sample at NRL’s material science lab. White worked with mentors Drs. James Wollmerhauser and Edward Gorzkowski from the Material Science and Technology Division during the 10-week HBCU/MI internship.  (U.S. Navy Photo by: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

WASHINGTON — Rojae White, physics major at Alabama A&M University views a test sample at NRL’s material science lab. White worked with mentors Drs. James Wollmerhauser and Edward Gorzkowski from the Material Science and Technology Division during the 10-week HBCU/MI internship. (U.S. Navy Photo by: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

The 35-page report detailed the federal government’s five-year plan of responsibilities and objectives to engaged the nation’s STEM education.

The plan’s three primary goals: build strong foundations for literacy; increase diversity, equity and inclusion; and prepare the STEM workforce for the future.

“The report’s acknowledgement is a great indicator that our efforts are on the right path for even more success,” Charles said.

For more information, visit https://www.nrl.navy.mil/hbcu/ and contact the NRL STEM coordinator at 202-404-8121.
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