RIVERSIDE, Calif. —Naval Surface Warfare Center Corona and Riverside’s Science and Technology Education Partnership signed an education partnership agreement at the Bourns Technology Center July 16, strengthening ties for greater outreach for the next generation of inland scientists and engineers.
The partnership is the latest step by the Norco-based Navy command to enhance outreach for science, technology, engineering and math education that began nearly 15 years ago and paves the way for the naval center to provide lab personnel to teach courses, judge science fairs, and loan or transfer federal lab equipment to STEP for educational programs.
“This partnership is another step forward in our joint effort to inspire and develop the next generation of scientists and engineers that our Navy, our businesses and our nation needs to retain our competitive edge,” said Capt. Eric Ver Hage, NSWC Corona commanding officer. “We have been supporting the STEP conference as a technology exhibitor since 2000 and this agreement takes our relationship to the next level, laying the foundation for even more significant work together.”
The warfare center’s designation as a federal lab in 2010 provides expanded legal authority to enter into partnerships with industry, academia and educational non-profits, like STEP. The center is the only federal lab of its kind in Southern California’s Inland Empire, and this is the first-ever agreement of its type for the two organizations.
Gordon Bourns, STEP vice president and NSWC Corona honorary chief technology officer, signed the agreement with Ver Hage.
“This is an important milestone for STEP and for the Bourns Technology Center, too,” Bourns said to an audience of local technology companies, University of California, Riverside faculty and STEP supporters. “We are proud to partner with our Navy to provide even more high technology experience for our students,” he added later.
STEP and the warfare center have reached out to more than 50,000 Inland Empire students since the flagship STEP conference began, making it one of the largest STEM outreach events supported by the Naval Sea Systems Command, the warfare center’s higher headquarters in Washington, D.C.
According to the Office of Naval Research – the coordinating group for Navy and Marine Corps’ STEM outreach – STEP is a signature outreach program for the Navy supports its strategic plan to inspire, engage, educate and employ STEM professionals.
The Navy will again bring its Navy in Norco Science Experience to this year’s STEP conference for more than 4,000 students to be held at the Bourns Technology Center on Oct. 14-15.
In addition to STEP, the base also supports other Navy-sponsored programs like SeaPerch, the Science and Engineering Apprentice Program, the Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program and the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship for Service Program.
As one of the largest employers of scientists and engineers in the region, warfare center leadership says the way to keep a strong technical workforce is through STEM education outreach to students at all levels, especially from the diverse backgrounds of inland Southern California students.
NSWC Corona serves as the Navy and Marine Corps’ measurement science and calibration agent, the Navy and Marine Corps’ Surface, Aviation, and Littoral range systems engineering agent and the Navy’s independent performance, reliability, and quality analysis and assessment center. The base is home to three premier national laboratories and assessment centers, the Joint Warfare Assessment Lab, the Measurement Science and Technology Lab, and the Daugherty Memorial Assessment Center.
• STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non-STEM counterparts.
• STEM degree holders enjoy higher earnings, regardless of whether they work in STEM or non-STEM occupations.
• STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.
• More than two-thirds of STEM workers have at least a college degree, compared to less than one-third of non-STEM workers.
• In 2010, there were 7.6 million STEM workers in the United States, representing about 1 in 18 workers.
Source: STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, July 2011