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SHEC Member Profile: Dr. Chad Womack of the United Negro College Fund

LLF_9161.jpgThe STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) is proud to announce, Dr. Chad Womack, National Director of STEM Education Initiatives and the UNCF Merck Fellowship Program at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF),  will be a member of the Council. Dr. Chad Womack is a science educator and technology entrepreneur, researcher, and scholar. In his current capacity at the UNCF, Dr. Womack leads the organization’s strategic direction to address unmet educational needs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) college and career pipeline for African American students.
In addition, Dr. Womack is the Project Lead for the HBCU Startup and Innovation Initiative at the UNCF, a White House and Mitchell Kapor Foundation supported effort to galvanize tech entrepreneurship and commercialization across Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Prior to joining the UNCF, Dr. Womack Co-Founded the America21 Project, an innovation-based community and economic development nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering urban centers and underserved communities through science, technology and innovation. As a national nonprofit organization, The America21 Project has launched multiple initiatives in cities through the country. Dr. Womack also serves as a consultant and advisor to the White House, several federal agencies, local, and state governments. Initiatives have included several science educational and training programs designed to address the educational (post secondary preparation) and human capital needs for the region’s biotechnology and life science industry.
Prior to The America21 Project, Chad founded the Philadelphia Biotechnology and Life Sciences Institute as a nonprofit initiative dedicated to addressing unmet educational and workforce development needs of the City of Philadelphia.
Dr. Womack also has extensive experience in the private sector as a bioentrepreneur and Co-Founder of 3GEN Vaccines – a nanobiotechnology Company where he currently serves as Senior Advisor for3GENR&D. Chad is also a founding Board Member of DC Innovates – a local nonprofit intermediary organization dedicated to innovation-based economic development in the District of Columbia (Washington, DC).
Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Dr. Womack completed several research fellowships at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most recently at the National Institutes for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Center (VRC). As a research fellow and later as a senior fellow at The VRC, Dr. Womack conducted research on the immunopathogenesis of
HIV/AIDS and AIDS vaccine development in developing countries collaborating with investigators in India and Africa.  Before coming to the NIH, Dr. Womack completed a fellowship at the Harvard AIDS Institute and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, where he conducted his PhD doctoral research studies.
Dr. Womack earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Morehouse School of Medicine, and is a proud graduate of Morehouse College earning his B.S. degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Applied Physics. A father of two, Chad and his family reside in his native Philadelphia area.
In a statement regarding joining the Council, Dr. Womack remarked, “the UNCF is honored to join the STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) of STEMconnector, and looks forward to the opportunity to participate in the national dialogue on America’s need for diverse STEM talent.  SHEC provides a wonderful forum where the UNCF can share its vision for how historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) can provide solutions for diversity and inclusion in the tech-workforce and build a more inclusive and competitive tech-economy.  Along with its partners – the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities – the UNCF is spearheading a unique collaborative effort called the HBCU STEM Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (ICE) initiative. STEM ICE is building capacity among HBCUs, and enhancing skills and abilities among faculty and students which will enable them to be competitive in the innovation and tech-economy. We look forward to sharing the STEM ICE vision and learning best practices from other members of STEMconnector®’s STEM Higher Education Council.” 

Tuskegee University Joins Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® Team

This is a press release from Tuskegee University and Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems

Tuskegee, Ala., July 24, 2014 | Tuskegee University (TU) and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems announce they have signed a Letter of Cooperation to initiate collaborative efforts related to SNC’s Dream Chaser® Orbital Transportation System. The purpose of this relationship is to jointly promote aerospace engineering education, research, and development, scientific exploration and recruitment and training of a diverse workforce.

Dr. Johnson, President,  Tuskegee University and Mark Sirangelo, Corp. Vice President, Sign Letter or Cooperation at Joint Press Conference at Tuskegee University; Photo: Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is now a university partner with SNC on the Dream Chaser program.  SNC will support research projects for Tuskegee University faculty and students to advance the technical design of SNC’s Dream Chaser. These projects are expected to create internships and future job opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and non-STEM disciplines for Tuskegee University students. The University already has one of only two centers funded by NASA to develop a technology for growing food in space during human space missions.
SNC will begin lectures at Tuskegee University on the future of our nation’s space program to provide insight into the industry’s most exciting developments.  Tuskegee University faculty will join SNC’s Space Systems Dream Chaser Program Advisory Board to provide critical feedback on SNC’s plans for human space flight activities. SNC will support the academic activities of Tuskegee University at large, in addition to the Department of the Aerospace Science Engineering, through membership on the Industrial Advisory Board of the Department.
Tuskegee University, founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, has a rich legacy of blazing new frontiers. The legendary roles played by such giants as George Washington Carver and the famed Tuskegee Airmen are a glowing part of U.S. history. Tuskegee University, located in Tuskegee, Alabama, is a top ten producer of African-American engineers, and the top producer of material science and engineering Ph.Ds in the nation. Tuskegee is also the only independent, historically black university with several engineering programs that are nationally accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), including the only accredited Aerospace Engineering program at a Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU). 
Dr. Brian L. Johnson, presented by Tuskegee University on June 13, 2014 as the seventh president, commented, “I have begun my time as president by asking all involved with the university to trust the Tuskegee tradition and trust the Tuskegee trajectory. This new relationship with SNC highlights the long celebrated history of Tuskegee in aerospace while also opening up future possibilities for our students to experience the trajectory of America’s new path to space.”
SNC is a leading innovator in developing space systems solutions. Its flagship program, the Dream Chaser, is the next generation space transportation system. This reusable spacecraft will provide critical transportation support for astronauts and cargo to and from low-Earth orbit.
Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems added, “We are thrilled to begin our relationship with such a prestigious and important aerospace university.  Dr. Johnson, through his new, energetic and dynamic leadership, has outlined a plan to create a student-centered environment for the 21st century, which will foster a culture of advancement and development.  We believe that by working together to develop our nation’s future in space we can help make Dr. Johnson’s vision a reality and provide a path for the university’s amazing students to continue Tuskegee’s substantial impact on aerospace.”
About Tuskegee University
Founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee University is home to approximately 3,000 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. The institution is accredited by the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and all of its professional programs are accredited by their respective agencies.
About Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems business area based in Louisville, Colorado, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, space vehicles, rocket motors and spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. Government, commercial customers as well as for the international market.  SNC’s Space Systems has more than 25 years of space heritage and has participated in over 400 successful space missions through the delivery of over 4,000 systems, subsystems and components.  During its history, SNC’s Space Systems has concluded over 70 programs for NASA and over 50 other clients. For more information about SNC’s Space Systems visit and follow us at
About Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), headquartered in Sparks, Nevada, is one of America’s fastest growing private companies based on its significant expansion and reputation for rapid, innovative, and agile technology solutions in electronics, aerospace, avionics, space, propulsion, micro-satellite, aircraft, communications systems and solar energy. Under the leadership of CEO Fatih Ozmen and President Eren Ozmen, SNC has a workforce of over 3,000 personnel in 31 locations in 17 states. SNC’s six unique business areas are dedicated to providing leading-edge solutions to SNC’s dynamic customer base.
SNC is also the Top Woman-Owned Federal Contractor in the United States. Over the last 30 years under the Ozmen’s leadership, SNC has remained focused on providing its customers the very best in diversified technologies to meet their needs and has a strong and proven track record of success. The company continues to focus its growth also on the commercial sector through internal advancements in dual-use applications and outside acquisitions, including the emerging markets of renewable energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, cyber and net-centric operations. For more information on SNC visit and follow us at



International Space Station and National Geographic Learning Team Up for Science Education

This is a press release from The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and National Geographic Learning (NGL)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., July 24, 2014 (PRNewswire) | The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and National Geographic Learning (NGL) today announced a partnership in the development of a science education initiative designed to engage young learners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. CASIS is the sole manager of the U.S. National Laboratory on the International Space Station (ISS).
Through this collaboration, CASIS brings the high-interest world of space-related science and engineering together with National Geographic Learning's educational expertise and spirit of exploration to create a unique learning environment that targets elementary school students and teachers. Fully aligned to next generation science standards, the programming will deliver content related to space travel and space-based research in a highly engaging model designed for elementary science classrooms.
One of the CASIS core initiatives is to utilize the ISS as the ultimate learning platform, capitalizing on the station's unique environment and vantage point. This collaborative effort intends to develop innovative educational programming that makes use of the space station's orbiting classroom to educate and inspire our future generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers.
"One of the key objectives of CASIS is to expand the value of the International Space Station by supporting STEM initiatives and inspiring students to look beyond our horizons," said CASIS Director of Development and Partnerships Ed Harris. "National Geographic Learning is a natural partner in this endeavor. Their sterling reputation for capturing the imagination of children throughout the world is unparalleled, and CASIS is eager to work with them on this next-generation education initiative."
NGL represents a partnership between the National Geographic Society and leading educational publisher Cengage Learning. The organization develops materials and programming designed to engage and motivate today's youth in educational endeavors, and to instill in them an awareness of their responsibility to care for the planet. Through this new collaboration with CASIS, students will learn to understand their planet from the extraordinary vantage-point of low-Earth orbit.
This announcement continues a series of high-profile collaborations to advance STEM outreach and awareness that have recently made news. These efforts include a partnership with the Boston Red Sox Foundation, and the recent berthing of investigations by the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program on Orbital Sciences Cygnus capsule, for which CASIS is a national sponsor. Through education initiatives, CASIS has been able to reach thousands of classrooms and students across the nation. To learn more about opportunities to educate from the ISS National Laboratory, please visit: or
About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit
About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation's newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, a unique vantage point in low-Earth orbit, and varied environments of space. 

Applications due August 1st for ASU & Verizon Foundation Innovation Through Design Thinking Program

This is a guest blog post from Arizona State University and the Verizon Foundation

Arizona State University and the Verizon Foundation have announced a $27,500 grant opportunity for high schools selected to participate in the Innovation Through Design Thinking Program, a unique experience in which high school educators will learn how to teach design-thinking, innovation, entrepreneurship and STEM skill-building by collaborating with local businesses to solve real-world challenges through mobile app development. The program uses a 'train-the-trainer' model which will grow a strong community of innovative teachers where students need them the most. Applications are due August 1. For more information, or to apply, please visit

Program Overview
The iDT is a two-year program with four phases:
  • Fall Institute 2014: a fall institute will take place September 25-28 (dates tentative) in Chandler, Arizona, where Fellows are introduced to innovation and applied community-based project curriculum; 
  • Fall 2014: a 16-week virtual training program, where Fellows learn techniques and tools for teaching through applied community-based project curriculum;
  • Spring 2015: a 16-week experience of integrating applied community-based project curriculum into the classroom through student-led mobile app projects for local small businesses; and
  • Academic Year 2015/16: ongoing support as Fellows advance to being Senior Fellows and train colleagues in their schools while supporting the on-boarding of the next cohort of Fellows
Four high schools will be selected among applicants to participate in the program. Each high school must identify a team that will participate in the program; each team should include three teachers, one support staff member (e.g. internship coordinator, CTE coordinator, community liaison, etc.) and a member of school leadership. All teachers should attend the iDT kickoff institute in September. We highly encourage schools with Career Technical Education (CTE) programs or other established career and internship programs to apply. Selected schools will each receive a $27,500 grant, as well as mobile devices and data plans to implement the program. 
With generous support from the Verizon Foundation, each of the four selected partner schools will be allocated $27,500 in funding to participate in the program, allowing for supplementary pay for participating teachers, materials and field trips for design-thinking activities for each teacher’s classroom, and travel stipends as needed to attend the summer institute. In addition, each school will be furnished with mobile devices, as well as data plans and network access.
To apply to the program, complete and submit all components of the application available here.
Application deadline is Friday, August 1 with grant recipients announced by August 15, 2014. 
Additional Information 
For more information, please

AFA Announces 2014 National Teacher of the Year (PRNewswire)

This is a press release from the Air Force Association (AFA)

ARLINGTON, Va., July 22, 2014 (PRNewswire) | The Air Force Association (AFA) is proud to announce Kaci Heins, a dedicated teacher at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff, AZ, as the recipient of the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award.
Mrs. Heins distinguished herself by integrating aerospace into her classroom, school and community. Her entire science curriculum has NASA and STEM engineering design challenges integrated to provide hands-on and real world experiences for her 6th grade students. Some of these engineering projects include solar ovens, wind turbine design, heat shield testing, water filtration, plant growth chambers, balloon rockets and high altitude ballooning. The overall goal of this project-based learning is to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
After school, this continues with Mrs. Heins coaching the schools' Lego Robotics teams and presenting at science conferences across the country. Mrs. Heins is passionate about sharing her classroom experiences to inspire other teachers in bringing more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to their classrooms.
In the words of her principal, "Mrs. Heins lives science education and seeks to do projects that impact our students and our community." As AFA's National TOY, the theme of Mrs. Heins's message to other educators will be "Dare Mighty Things Through STEM Education." 
As AFA's National Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Heins will receive a $3,000 cash award. First runner-up, Michael Steebler of Frazier High School in Perryopolis, Pennsylvania, will receive $2,000 and second runner-up, Jeff Scott of Washington High School in Tacoma, Washington, will receive $1,000.
The $3,000 award will be presented to Mrs. Heins in September at AFA's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, D.C. The National Teacher of the Year award recognizes classroom teachers at the national level for their achievements in building enthusiasm among K-12 students about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and preparing them to use these skills and contribute to tomorrow's technologies. For more information contact Shannon Aud at
The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:
  • EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
  • ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
  • SUPPORT the Total Air Force family and promote aerospace education.
AFA has 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 100,000 members. Visit AFA at

SHEC Member Profile: Lezli Baskerville of NAFEO

The STEM Higher Education Council (SHEC) is proud to announce, Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), will be a member of the Council. Ms. Baskerville is the fifth and first female President & CEO of NAFEO, the only national membership, advocacy and capacity building association for the nation’s 103 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 92 Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). She is a seasoned lawyer, government relations and equity professional. Dr. Baskerville is an accomplished small business and association senior executive, who is a recognized expert on equal educational and employment opportunity, education excellence and access; pipeline issues, education funding, promising practices in minority student persistence, affirmative action and diversity issues. She is published in the fields.
Prior to ascending to the helm of NAFEO, Ms. Baskerville served as Vice President for Government Relations for The College Board. In that capacity, Baskerville was responsible for shaping and advancing the legislative agenda of The College Board, providing leadership to The Board’s Upward Bound program and Educational Opportunity Center –TRIO programs that collectively prepare, inspire and connect low- income, first generation, traditionally underserved students and adults to college and opportunity. While serving as an officer at The College Board, attorney Baskerville shaped, directed, edited and engaged the nation in a dialogue regarding “Investing More Equitably and Efficiently in Higher Education, Creating Value for America,” titled, “Challenging Times, Clear Choices: An Action Agenda for College Access and Success.” She also shaped, wrote significant portions and led the Board in preparing a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief in the Gratz v. Bollinger higher education diversity case.
For ten years prior to joining The College Board, Attorney Baskerville managed a successful private legal and legislative services collective⎯The Baskerville Group⎯that provided legal and government relations representation, advocacy and diversity services to higher education institutions and associations, municipalities, elected officials, candidates for office, non-profit associations, small businesses and corporations. In that capacity, Baskerville shaped and wrote significant portions of twenty-eight (28) national public policy documents, served as national policy advisor or southern mobilization director for 24 congressional candidates, 10 Senate candidates, and four presidential candidates.
For two decades Baskerville served as outside counsel to NAFEO and played central roles in preparing Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs on behalf of NAFEO, the National Medical Association and National Bar Association in leading educational equity and affirmative cases, such as Weber, Bakke, and Fullilove. Baskerville also played a leading role in shaping, advancing and for ten years, monitoring the enforcement of the consent decree in the landmark higher education desegregation case of Adams v. Califano.
Attorney Baskerville served as executive director of the National Black Leadership Roundtable, Appellate Counsel at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,national legislative counsel for the NAACP, and as an administrative appeals judge in the District of Columbia.
Lezli Baskerville received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors from Douglass College, Rutgers University and in 1998, was inducted into The Douglass Society (the College’s Hall of Fame) in recognition of her unstinting commitment to improving the quality of life of vulnerable populations. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree with honors from Howard University School of Law, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Benedict College, and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Shaw University. Baskerville is also a graduate of the Executive Management Program for Minority Directors at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.
Ms. Baskerville is the recipient of numerous awards and citations. In June 2012, she was pictured on the cover of STEMConnector and included in the cover story on “100 Women Leaders in STEM.” In March 2012 she was named by Diverse Issues in Higher Education in the cover story titled, “Leading the Way,” as one of “25 Women Making a Difference.” She was named by AOL Black Voices as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Black Women in Higher Education,” and by Ebony Magazine for five consecutive years as one of America’s Top 100 Most Influential Association Leaders. She is included in The History Makers, a national oral history of African American achievement, as a distinguished lawmaker. Baskerville is a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church of Washington, D.C.
Regarding joining the Council, Ms. Baskerville remarked, “STEMConnector is a tremendous vehicle through which to link HBCUs/PBIs with various stakeholders, and to educate the wider community about their amazing return on investment.”
The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) is the umbrella organization of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs). Founded in 1969, NAFEO is the only membership association of its kind, representing the presidents and chancellors of all the nation’s black colleges and universities: public, private and land-grant two-year, four-year, graduate and professional schools.
Whether an institution is one of the 39 private black colleges and universities that belong to UNCF, one of the 47 public colleges and universities that belong to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; one of the 18 land-grant universities or 19 other public universities that belong to the National Association of State Universities and Land-grant Colleges’ Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges; a black 2-year institution that belongs to the American Association of Community Colleges; or one of the new Predominately Black Institutions (PBIs), the institution has a voice and a vote in NAFEO.
NAFEO was founded to provide an international voice for the nation’s HBCUs; to place and maintain the issue of equal opportunity in higher education on the national agenda; to advocate for policies, programs and practices designed to preserve and enhance HBCUs; and to increase the active participation of blacks at every level in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs in American higher education. For more information, visit

Ocean 180 challenges scientists to turn discoveries into stories

This is a press release from COSEE Florida

Contest Rules and Guidelines for the 2015 Ocean 180 Video Challenge released; Ocean scientists invited to share research with thousands of students around the world

Ocean scientists, grab your cameras and start filming. The Ocean 180 Video Challenge is entering its second year and offering $9,000 in cash prizes for the best short videos summarizing the results of a recent ocean-related study.
Sponsored by the Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE Florida) and funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, Ocean 180 taps into the competitive spirit of scientists and challenges them to use video to communicate and share the meaning, significance, and relevance of their research with a broader audience. Contestants are asked to produce a 3-minute video abstract summarizing a recent publication that will be judged by a team of potential future ocean scientists — middle school students from all over the world.
In 2014, during Ocean 180’s inaugural year, over 30,000 middle school students in 13 countries crowned three scientists as winners. Students were tasked with evaluating the top 10 submissions and selecting the videos which best communicated the results and implications of the research. Top honors were claimed by scientists studying internal waves in the Southern Pacific, microbes in the Amazon River plume, and bull sharks in southern Florida.
While Ocean 180 gives scientists a chance to present their work to a global audience, the benefits of creating a video abstract can reach far beyond the contest. “When you’re in the lab you worry about the tiny details about the research,” explained Ocean 180 finalist Dr. Laurence Yeung. “Participating in Ocean 180 helped me step back and say ‘Why did I start doing this in the first place? What was that spark the got me first interested?’ And I think that’s always important. It helped me think more broadly about [my research] and come up with new ideas for future work and how to communicate those results.”
Middle school classrooms will again be given a key role in selecting the winners for the 2015 competition. After a team of science and communication experts narrows the field to the top 10 entries, sixth-eighth grade students in registered middle school classrooms around the world will screen and evaluate the videos and cast their votes for the winners.
Think you could compete for the 2015 Ocean 180 Video Challenge title?
Video abstract submissions from scientists will be accepted from October 1-December 1, 2014.  Winners will be announced in late February. Official Ocean 180 Video Challenge Rules and Guidelines are available at The site also includes links to submissions from last year’s finalists and pointers on how to design and produce a successful video. Questions regarding the Ocean 180 Video Challenge may be directed to
About COSEE Florida
COSEE Florida's mission is to spark and nurture collaborations among scientists and educators to promote ocean discovery and literacy, and to enhance the public's understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the ocean. Visit us online at COSEE Florida is funded through a National Science Foundation Grant through the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Program.

International Association for STEM Leaders Gives Dr. Jeff Mathews the "Powering Up" Technology Leadership Award

This is a press release from the International Association for STEM Leaders

International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation's capitol and awards Dr. Jeff Mathews, of Peachtree Ridge High School, the "Powering Up" STEM Leadership Award for his promotion and vision for technology in education. Dr. Jeff Mathews is part of our ongoing video documentary featuring national STEM leaders.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
The "Powering Up" Technology Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Jeff Mathews, Principal at Peachtree Ridge High School. Mathews is a leading STEM thought leader who has been a strong understanding and mastery of technology and its full potential for classroom use. His philosophy is to enable children to power up their devices and provide digital access for all students. The devices promote formative feedback, digital information access, and communication with school partners and others.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.
The STEM Leadership Summit was help in conjunction with the world's largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education. Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in "turn key" laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support. DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. On the online side of STEM, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as sponsors.

U.S. team captures Silver in 2014 International Rocketry Challenge

This is a press release from Raytheon

Raytheon-sponsored team from Canton, Ga., wins second place in student rocketry challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show

LONDON, July 18, 2014 (PRNewswire) | Five students from Creekview High School of Canton, Ga., took home silver medals in the seventh annual International Rocketry Challenge at the Farnborough International Air Show. The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), won second place, while the French team captured first and the U.K. team took third.
Competing teams designed, built and launched rockets with a goal of reaching an altitude of exactly 825 feet during a 48- to 50-second flight window. The payload, two raw hen eggs, had to return to the ground undamaged using two identical parachutes. Scores are determined by how close teams come to the required height and time; cracked eggs disqualify the flight.
The five-member team representing the United States consists of Amanda Semler, 18; Andrew White, 16; Nick Dimos, 16; Austin Bralick, 16; and Bailey Robertson, 15. The team posted the top flight score of 9.88 and was just nine feet shy of the target altitude. The team from France posted the next highest flight score of 448.32 followed by the UK team with a flight score of 715.2.
The students also gave a presentation on their rocket design to a panel of international judges at Raytheon's air show headquarters. The judges' score counted for 40 percent of their total score.
"I had a great time being out here with all of the other people from different countries and meeting other people with similar interests," said Team Captain Amanda Semler."I hope it will inspire other women to get into the industry and reach their dreams."
The International Rocketry Challenge is the culmination of three separate competitions held annually around the globe: the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA); the United Kingdom Aerospace Youth Rocketry Challenge (UKAYRoC) sponsored by ADS, the UK Aerospace, Defense, Security and Space association; and the French Rocketry Challenge sponsored by Groupement des Industries Francaises Aeronautiques et Spatiales, the French aerospace industries association. Each contest brings together teams of middle and high school students to design, build and launch model rockets with the goal of inspiring young minds to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math.
"The knowledge, discipline and commitment displayed by students to make it to this level of competition is extraordinary," said Thomas A. Kennedy, CEO of Raytheon. "By celebrating student achievement on a global stage, Raytheon hopes to inspire more students to challenge themselves to share their knowledge and natural curiosity as they collaborate to uncover winning solutions."
This is the ninth year that Raytheon has supported the U.S. team's trip to the international air show. The program is part of the company's broad-based MathMovesU® initiative to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
"The ingenuity and determination displayed today by the U.S. team is a powerful indicator that young Americans remain committed to excellence in STEM-related fields," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "I am confident that students like these will continue to bolster America's global leadership in aerospace for generations to come."
About the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)  
Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology.
About MathMovesU  
Raytheon's MathMovesU® program is an initiative committed to increasing middle and elementary school students' interest in math and science education by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. The innovative programs of MathMovesU include the traveling interactive experience MathAlive!®; Raytheon's Sum of all Thrills™ experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals; the In the Numbers game, a partnership with the New England Patriots on display at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon; the company's ongoing sponsorship of the MATHCOUNTS® National Competition; and the MathMovesU scholarship and grant program. Follow MathMovesU and other Raytheon community outreach programs on Facebook and on Twitter @MathMovesU.
About Raytheon  
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.

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