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Space Force brings ‘STEMtoSpace’ to students around the world
US Space Force | Dec. 20, 2021
ALEXANDRIA, Va.: Space Force’s “STEMtoSpace” outreach campaign started as a small team project in honor of the Service’s first birthday Dec. 20, 2020, designed to link Space Force volunteers with local-area students to talk about the importance of STEM education. The initiative quickly expanded reaching more than 17,000 students across all 50 states in the campaign’s first year.
“STEM-focused education is not only critical to the success of the Space Force, but it also holds the key to our future security and prosperity as a nation,” Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond said. “This outreach campaign has been nothing short of inspiring, as our volunteers and students around the globe have connected to build upon their shared passion for space.”
This year, the majority of the classroom visits were virtual, but some Guardians, including the Chief of Space Operations and NASA astronaut and Space Force Col. Nick Hague, were fortunate to visit a few locations in person – including Raymond’s high school alma mater, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Raymond and Hague spoke to more than 200 students there, Dec. 15.
“Being able to share my passion for space and my experiences on orbit with students around the world has been incredible,” Hague said. “STEM is critical to everything we do at NASA, and we need today’s youth engaged in science, technology, engineering and math in order to lead the future of space research and exploration.”
More than 300 Space Force volunteers participated in STEMtoSpace engagements this December, potentially reaching close to 184,000 students across all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, South Korea, Japan, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
“Talking to today’s youth about the importance of the Space Force and STEM in general will help grow awareness for the branch organically and teach kids the importance of STEM knowledge and activities and how STEM actually impacts everyday life beyond the classroom,” said Specialist 4 Nathan Hall, 747 Communications Squadron network analyst at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
“Overall, it was a great event, and the kids I talked to had excellent, in-depth questions; I feel they took a lot away from the event, as did I.”