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NASA Education Stakeholders' Summit
09.15.10
 
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaking at a podium

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden gives keynote remarks at the NASA Education Stakeholders' Summit One Stop Shopping Initiative at the Westfields Marriott Conference Center in Chantilly, VA. Image Credit: NASA

NASA is hosting a three-day Education Stakeholders Summit for government, industry and academia leaders focused on streamlining the process of drawing talented college students into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. The Summit, themed "An Innovative Solution to Support the STEM Workforce of Tomorrow," is being held at the Marriott Westfields Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia. It began on Monday and concludes September 15.

One of the primary objectives of the event is to introduce key stakeholders to NASA's new One-Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI) strategic model, which debuted earlier this year. A feature of the OSSI is an integrated online application, which is designed to increase NASA's efficiency in providing internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities to college students pursuing STEM-related curricula. The system, which is open to all NASA centers and agency partners, uses a variety of data to facilitate matching students with relevant opportunities. OSSI was designed to create a standardized, integrated approach to NASA education internship and fellowship opportunities, including recruitment, retention and development; selection, placement and mentoring; and, entry into the workforce.

Members of the Education Stakeholders' Summit One Stop Shopping Initiative Panel listen to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is joined on the panel from left to right by Leland Melvin; William Kelly; Michael Lach; Cora Marrett; and James Stofan. Image Credit: NASA

During the kickoff of the Summit, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden addressed an audience of over 200 education professionals and gave his personal endorsement of this collaborative effort to build the STEM pipeline and future workforce. "STEM education is a critical concern for NASA. We absolutely cannot do what we need to do without a skilled workforce, and we are not going to get a skilled workforce without a solid investment in STEM education," he noted.

Joining Bolden in the Summit kickoff panel were Dr. Cora Marrett, Acting Director of the National Science Foundation, and Michael Lach, Special Assistant for STEM Education to the Secretary of Education. They echoed the sentiments expressed by Bolden and praised NASA for taking the initiative to facilitate a process to bring more students into the technical workforce. Other featured speakers included James Stofan, NASA Acting Associate Administrator for Education; Marion Blakey, President and CEO of Aerospace Industries Association; William Kelly, Public Affairs Manager for the American Society of Engineering Education; and, NASA astronaut and education partnerships manager Leland Melvin.

Astronaut and Education Design Team Co-Chair Leland Melvin speaking at a podium

Leland Melvin, Education Design Team Co-Chair and NASA Astronaut, speaks at the NASA Education Stakeholders' Summit One Stop Shopping Initiative. Image Credit: NASA

A second panel, made up of current NASA student interns and fellows, addressed the attendees and shared their personal experiences of being part of the NASA team through various internships and fellowships. Stofan commented, "The depth and breadth of the students' accomplishments and contributions showcased the profound impact that these experiences can have in a student's career and what a benefit they can be to NASA."

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For more information about student opportunities and the Education Stakeholders' Summit (including conference materials and proceedings), visit: http://intern.nasa.gov.

For more information about NASA education programs, visit: NASA Education.