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NEWS | June 20, 2024

SCalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement held their first Educator Appreciation Day at WestGate Academy

By Emily Gray (ctr), NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

SCalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement held their first Educator Appreciation Day at WestGate Academy SCalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE) hosted its first Educator Appreciation Day on June 3, 2024 at WestGate Academy in Crane, Indiana. Funded by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Critical Technologies (OUSD(R&E)-CT) Trusted and Assured Microelectronics (T&AM) and managed by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane). The event was held to recognize educators in the SCALE K-12 program.

SCALE is an educational program that combines government and defense industry internships that bring research and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate college students. SCALE K-12 focuses on introducing microelectronics to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Educators involved in SCALE K-12 focus on the development of content related to microelectronics and creating opportunities to organically incorporate microelectronics throughout their schools.

SCALE K-12 teacher fellows were presented with letters of appreciation from the Department of Defense for their hard work to this vital effort. Close to 77 people attended the event from across the state. Keynotes speakers for the event included Dr. Kyle Werner, Deputy Technical Director at NSWC Crane, Brooke Pyne, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Strategy ARI, and Jenna Dix, Director of Engagement at NSWC Crane.

Ryan Hoyt, an 8th grade science teacher at Washington Catholic Schools, participated in the SCALE K-12 program. He found the program to be inspiring and is hopeful that it will expand throughout his entire school.

“We are a small school, and when I found out about the program, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it,” said Hoyt. “With microelectronics (ME) foundries potentially coming to our area, I wanted our students to get in on the ground floor. I am hopeful that we will spark an interest in ME and help launch a career for them because the more I learn about ME, the more possibilities I see for my students. With this being the first year, we are learning what the possibilities of microelectronics are and how to engage our students. The administration is also onboard with implementing SCALE throughout our building. When introducing one of the lessons on wiring and programming, many of the students wanted to continue to experiment with other ideas. Students completing a lesson in another class were excited to show me what they were learning and what they ended up creating.”

Karin DuBois, a K-12 Liaison SCALE Workforce Development Program, was excited that the event had a great turnout for the group’s first year.

“The turnout for this event was truly remarkable. This celebration to recognize these hard-working individuals who devoted over 70 hours to drafting and learning about microelectronics during this pilot year is inspiring. Their efforts to expand interest in this career field and develop microelectronics engineers to fill essential positions in the Department of Defense and ensure the security of the United States,” said DuBois.

Next year, the SCALE K-12 program will include other schools within the region, as well as school districts in Michigan and Illinois.

About NSWC Crane | NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electromagnetic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.

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