SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic (SSC LANT)
Outreach - STEM

Outreach Program Overview

The SSC Atlantic Outreach Program is focused on building relationships within academia (universities/colleges and across K-12), government and industry communities to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education to improve scientific and technology literacy and the competitiveness of our nation’s students.  

Community Snapshot

SSC Atlantic has three main campuses: Tidewater area, Va., New Orleans and Charleston, SC.  The Tidewater area recently named an outreach coordinator and plans to establish a Tidewater STEM steering committee with NAVSEA, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, academia, business and community leaders.  The New Orleans campus will name its coordinator in the near future. 

SSC Atlantic's Charleston campus is currently working with three school districts: Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties.  The three school districts service more 93,000 students with a diverse student population and more than 136 school facilities including elementary, intermediate, middle, high, magnet, charter and alternative schools.

Charleston also is working with The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina STEM Center of Excellence whose mission is to advance STEM literacy in the South Carolina Lowcountry area.  The Citadel services approximately 2,000 undergraduate students from 40 states and a dozen countries.

Charleston executed an agreement with Allen University in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration Historically Black Colleges and Universities Pipeline Project.  Allen University created the pipeline project, which now encompasses participants from Clafin University, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College.  The project will develop curricula; outreach events and activities for undergraduate, middle and high school students; and the promotion of internship and career opportunities in STEM areas.

National Lab Day was launched in response to President Obama's call to raise American students to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.  National Lab Day is more than just one single day in the year.  It is a collaborative movement to support people who work in our classrooms to inspire tomorrow's innovators.  The Charleston campus embraced the movement and made it into a full week of activities with more than seven schools in the local area.

Team  SPAWAR continues to support the Federal Chief Information Officers Council in its student outreach efforts.  The Charleston location along with its sister command, SSC Pacific, jointly hosted Information Technology Job Shadow Day, which is an academic activity designed to give students a unique opportunity to observe the federal IT work world and learn about the many challenging IT careers within the Department of Defense.  Events like the IT Shadow Day expose students to government job opportunities they can pursue after college.

Charleston Campus Outreach Activities

Career Fairs

As an integral part of the SSC Atlantic’s Outreach program, the Career Fair team attends Charleston area schools’ career fairs and mentors to young minds.  Command personnel promote awareness of SSC Atlantic to the Charleston community and highlight SPAWAR's role in support of war fighters, the DoD community and other customers.  In addition to promoting awareness, the Career Fair team engages in STEM dialogue and builds relationships with young scholars.


First Lego League

Coaches and mentors are provided to support schools with various robotics teams for regional, state and nation championships.  Teams include:  Junior FIRST® LEGO®, FIRST® LEGO®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics Competition.

Gussie Green Computer Lab

Gussie Green is sponsored by Clemson University.  It is the first computer center of its kind.  The lab’s purpose is to teach computer skills (word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing, etc.) to low income individuals in North Charleston.  Engineers and other volunteers help keep the center operational.  The center provides the community with resumes assistance and other valuable technology skills to help with technology literacy, career advancement and job placement.

Due to the success of the North Charleston lab, a new initiative emerged to establish a second lab.

Material World Modules-MWM

The modules were developed by Northwestern University and the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education.  Each features new teaching methods and tools that are provided to local teachers to assist with enhancing STEM education.  MWM are hands-on, inquiry and design-based units for middle and high school students.  Based on materials science and nanotechnology principles, this interdisciplinary approach engages students, adds relevance to traditional curriculum, and has been shown to improve science knowledge for all students. 

Project Lead the Way

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) prepares students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and to make meaningful, pioneering contributions to our world. PLTW partners with middle schools and high schools to provide a rigorous, relevant STEM education.  Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning.  The PLTW middle and high school STEM education programs give students a brighter future by providing them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success in STEM-related fields.


Sea Perch

An Office of Navy Research (ONR) funded project, Sea Perch is an underwater robot.  Students build a robot from a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts, following a curriculum that teaches basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme.  We are working with both ONR and local schools to provide mentors to help build and test kits.

Tabula Digita

Tabula Digita is funded by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) and produced by Dimension M.  This math gaming tool enhances students’ skills in pre-algebra and algebra.  In order to be successful at the game the students have to solve problems to move to the next phase.  Tabula Digita is focused on delivering innovative and effective technology-based educational tools for elementary, middle and high school students.



   Tour/Career Fair Participation Request Form - Use this form to request a tour of SSC Atlantic facilities or to request SSC Atlantic to participate at your school career fair.

Students - Check for employment information


Berkeley County School District

Charleston County School District

Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE) 
Dorchester County School District

National Defense Education Program (NDEP)

STEM Education Alliance


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Updated: 7/23/2014 5:30 AM EST   Published