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NEWS | Nov. 4, 2020

NSWC Crane youth STEM program awarded for innovative education initiatives

By Sarah K. Miller, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

CRANE, Ind. – The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program was honored with a regional innovation award on October 13, 2020.

Regional Opportunity Initiatives (ROI) announced its 2020 winners of the third annual Indiana Uplands Regional Innovation Awards, which recognize people, organizations, and projects that have made “meaningful improvements to education, workforce, economic development, and quality of place within the eleven counties of the Uplands region.”

The STEM Innovation Award recognizes a program or organization that has made meaningful and novel contributions to STEM education or training in the Indiana Uplands. NSWC Crane is a major employer in the Indiana Uplands region, which includes Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen, and Washington counties.

Since the launch of the STEM program in 2010, the team has provided educational opportunities for youth grades K-12 throughout these counties.

Tina Closser, the NSWC Crane STEM Coordinator, says the award expresses the importance of STEM education.

“We were very excited to learn that we were nominated and won the 2020 STEM Innovation Award from ROI,” says Closser. “Being recognized as an organization that has made contributions to STEM education and training is very important. We are committed to serving our community and growing our pipeline of future STEM professionals.”

The award recognizes that “in the decade since its inception, the NSWC Crane STEM program has grown to support more than 5,000 students, 100 teachers, and 30 schools each year across the Indiana Uplands region.”

The STEM Team provides curriculum for students designed to provide hands-on activities geared towards students’ learning levels such as coding, robotics, tinkering, circuit boards, and more. In early 2020, the STEM program pivoted and worked with schools to provide virtual learning to students.

NSWC Crane STEM Team provides a wide variety of programming to local youth, including summer STEM Camps and after-school programming at WestGate Academy. The team also supports science fairs, a STEM club, and VEX and First Robotics competitions for students. More than one hundred NSWC Crane employees support the STEM program. These volunteers participate in sponsored school partnerships and mentor students in classrooms.

The award recognizes that the STEM program has created a pipeline of NSWC employees who have benefited from the STEM program, with many serving as STEM mentors in local schools. The STEM program was recognized for its service to the region in building and attracting the next generation of STEM workforce.

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 Electronic 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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