The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce awarded SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic the Business Education Partnership Award during its recent 15th annual Business Education Summit. The award recognizes SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through various programs with area schools and universities.
Accepting the award for SSC Atlantic was Gary Scott, director of total workforce, who also served as a member of a panel of experts discussing business partnerships in STEM education during the summit.
Through its outreach program SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic strives to inspire, develop and attract the STEM talent essential to deliver innovative solutions for the nation’s and SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic’s current and future challenges. SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic has formal educational partnership agreements with the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, as well as three school districts — Charleston County, Dorchester 2 and Berkeley. SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic scientists and engineers currently interact in formal educational settings in approximately six elementary, 18 middle and 17 high schools throughout the three districts, which represent a blend of urban, suburban and rural schools.
The center has also initiated partnerships with several universities in South Carolina, and Louisiana to perform cooperative and mutually beneficial development. SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic is also partnering with The Citadel, Clemson University and East Carolina University located in South Carolina and the University of New Orleans located in Louisiana. SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic is also partnering with Allen University in support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Pipeline project.
The center’s middle and high school outreach program is designed to inspire students at an early age by introducing them to hands-on tools such as robotics, Seaperch, Material World Modules and Tabula Digita, and helping them understand what engineers do and why math and science are important. Employees participate in projects such as Project Lead The Way, shadow days, science fairs, and math and science nights. These relationships also introduce students to the various employment opportunities available at SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic and ensure that there is a pool of STEM talent available in the future.
The chamber’s Business Education Summit, held at the Complex for Economic Development at Trident Technical College, is designed to foster partnerships between the business and education communities so they may better understand their needs and challenges.