Education

NASA Industry-Education Forum: Executive Summary
01.26.10
 
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden standing at a podium next to a projection screen

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden welcomed participants to the NASA Office of Education Industry-Education Forum. Image Credit: NASA
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The NASA Office of Education hosted the NASA Industry-Education Forum at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 2009. The purpose of the forum was to obtain ideas on how NASA and industry can make a demonstrable impact on student achievements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and their desire to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. Specific objectives included: increasing awareness of existing STEM workforce development efforts in order to avoid duplication; raising the visibility of NASA's emphasis on STEM workforce development; and identifying innovative opportunities to impact the future STEM workforce. Representatives from more than 40 aerospace companies and six NASA grantee organizations who had demonstrated success in STEM workforce development were invited to participate in the discussion.

The NASA Office of Education hosted the NASA Industry-Education Forum at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on December 3, 2009. The purpose of the forum was to obtain ideas on how NASA and industry can make a demonstrable impact on student achievements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and their desire to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. Specific objectives included: increasing awareness of existing STEM workforce development efforts in order to avoid duplication; raising the visibility of NASA's emphasis on STEM workforce development; and identifying innovative opportunities to impact the future STEM workforce. Representatives from more than 40 aerospace companies and six NASA grantee organizations who had demonstrated success in STEM workforce development were invited to participate in the discussion.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden opened the forum and spoke about the importance of education and the role the aerospace community plays to ensure the future workforce. Following remarks from Dr. Joyce Winterton, NASA Assistant Administrator for Education, and Alan Ladwig, NASA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs and Outreach, two NASA grantees provided a brief overview of existing programs that contribute significantly to STEM workforce development. The afternoon included small group breakout sessions (facilitated by NASA education leadership) that generated innovative ideas and input in the areas of STEM recruitment, retention, and employment. During the afternoon plenary session, NASA Deputy Administrator, Lori Garver engaged participants in a discussion of the importance of corporate volunteerism in the schools. A highlight of the forum was the Early Career Aerospace Professional Panel. The panel included early-career aerospace professionals supported by NASA education programs during their post-secondary degree programs. Each panelist provided a brief overview of his or her experience while receiving NASA support, and responded to specific questions about increasing the future STEM workforce.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden standing at a podium in front of a crowded room

Forum participants shared their ideas about student achievement in STEM education. Image Credit: NASA
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The 42 forum participants represented a cross-section of leaders from 18 aerospace companies, four universities, the leadership of AIA and AIAA, and NASA leaders in education, public outreach, human resources, and the mission directorates. At the close of the day, NASA senior leadership received positive verbal feedback from several of the industry representatives as well as AIA, AIAA leadership and university participants. Participants' responses to the evaluation form expressed unanimous strong agreement that the forum was a good use of their time, generated innovative ideas, and that participants would welcome the opportunity to work with NASA to ensure a robust future aerospace workforce. A full meeting summary will be posted.

The following organizations participated in the forum:
Aerojet, Aerospace Industries Association, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, ATK, BAE Systems, Inc., Ball Aerospace, Boeing, Colorado Space Grant Consortium, Honeybee Robotics, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Morgan State University, Miles O’Brien Productions, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Headquarters, North Carolina Space Grant Consortium, New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Paragon, Pratt & Whitney, Rockwell Collins, Raytheon, Rolls-Royce Corporation, SpaceX, Valador, Inc.