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12/20/2012
Office of the Director
United States
Office of Personnel Management
Washington, DC 20415-1000

MEMORANDUM FOR CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From:

John Berry
Director

Subject:
Support of the DoDEA STEM Initiative

As a part of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's (OPM's) continuing efforts to recruit top talent across all workforce populations, we are once again supporting the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) in its effort to encourage DoDEA students to consider Federal careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We request your assistance to identify Federal employees (non-contractors) in your agency to participate in this unique opportunity.

The DoDEA STEM initiative is an educational program designed to inform and engage students in the variety of STEM careers with emphasis on the Federal Government. The main goal of the initiative is to ignite the passion of students to pursue education and careers in STEM disciplines. The DoDEA STEM initiative will bring together Federal STEM professionals and DoDEA educators to create meaningful lessons and activities for participating students. Federal STEM professionals and DoDEA educators will guide interested students into higher levels of math, science, computer programming, and engineering coursework. In addition, Federal STEM professionals will lead sessions designed to expose the students to Federal careers and internships in STEM fields.

Please refer to the attached FAQs for additional information. Please forward this memo, along with the attached FAQs, to all interested individuals in your agency. We look forward to working with your agency to help DoDEA continue the success of this educational program. Please send all application materials and any questions to Carly Coleman at carly.coleman@opm.gov no later than January 31, 2013.

We look forward to working with your agency to help DoDEA make this program successful.

cc: Human Resources Directors

Attachment:  Frequently Asked Questions (answered below)

What is the DoDEA STEM Initiative?

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiative is an educational program designed to inform and engage students in the variety of STEM careers with emphasis on Federal Government opportunities.  DoDEA’s main goal is to ignite the passion of students to pursue education and careers in STEM disciplines.  OPM seeks to mobilize Federal STEM professionals to mentor and excite tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.  The initiative brings together Federal STEM professionals and DoDEA educators to create lessons and activities to engage students in making connections to real-world events, solve problems, and exploit new opportunities for collaboration.  Federal STEM professionals and DoDEA educators guide interested students into higher levels of math, science, computer programming, and engineering coursework.  In addition, Federal STEM professionals lead sessions designed to expose the students to Federal careers and internships in STEM fields.

What are the goals of the DoDEA STEM initiative?

1) Increase student achievement in math, science, and technology through the engineering design process,

2) Attract and retain students to STEM fields with a focus on underrepresented and female populations, and 

3) Support the national security focus on the shortage of STEM professionals

What venue will be used to pair DoDEA teachers and students with Federal STEM professionals?

DoDEA is planning a series of worldwide STEM events for the spring of 2013.  A tentative listing of these events is listed in the table below:

Location & Tentative Dates

Camp Lejeune/Ft Bragg, NC:  Spring 2013

Ft Stewart/Ft Jackson/Laurel Bay, SC:  Spring 2013

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:  February 2013

Ft. Benning, GA:  Spring 2013

FT Campbell/Ft Knox, KY:  Spring 2013

Quantico, VA:  Spring 2013

Puerto Rico:  Spring 2013

Heidelburg, Germany:  May 13-18, 2013

Seoul, Korea:  Spring 2013

Anderson AFB, Guam:  Spring 2013

Yokosuka, Japan:  Spring 2013

Kadena, Okinawa:  Spring 2013

What is expected of the Federal STEM professionals?

Federal STEM professionals will:

1)  Work with DoDEA teachers to develop lessons and activities that will engage students during the STEM events.  DoDEA will document the implementation of these lessons and activities in digital format so they might be broadcast to interested DoDEA students and teachers.  The lesson plans will be collected and stored in a database that will be accessed in the future by interested DoDEA teachers.

2)  Collaborate with local STEM professionals who have been identified by DoDEA to participate in the STEM events.

3)  Lead discussions with students and parents about working as a STEM professional in the Federal Government and the types of employment opportunities within the Federal Government in STEM occupations.

4)  Mentor a DoDEA teacher, student, or group of students over the course of the school year in a “community of practice” type venue in order to guide those interested in activities and coursework that are necessary to succeed in STEM disciplines.

What is the time involvement required to participate in the STEM initiative?

Federal STEM professionals will be required to collaborate with “partner” teachers to build lessons and activities appropriate for the STEM events.  We anticipate you will devote one hour per week leading up to the activity. Federal STEM professionals will be asked to attend several teleconferences and collaborate via electronic means to discuss the lesson plans, logistics and other items prior to arrival.  In all cases the teachers have already been planning these lessons and activities and procuring the supplies for the events.  The Federal STEM professionals will be asked to lend their professional expertise to enrich the lessons and activities.

What time commitment will be expected upon arrival for the events?

Depending upon the location of the assignment, Federal STEM professionals may be expected to arrive 2 days in advance of the event (overseas locations) or arrive the day before the event (domestic locations) to meet in pre-event planning and coordination sessions.  The activities will take place over the course of the week and time commitments will be based on the number and type of activities planned in advance with the partner teacher(s).

What is DoDEA’s role and what is OPM’s role?

DoDEA is responsible for securing the venue, arranging the STEM event schedules, communicating with the teachers and administrators, coordinating all logistics, and paying for all travel and materials, including invitational travel orders for selected Federal STEM professionals.  Travel Comp Time will not be awarded for this activity.  OPM is responsible for working with Federal agencies to identify the Federal STEM professionals to support the DoDEA STEM initiative.

Where will the Federal STEM professionals stay?

Federal STEM professionals will stay in lodging adjacent to the activities according to the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR).  Once the STEM professionals have been approved to participate, they will be connected with the local POCs at the locations to which they will be reporting.

How do Federal STEM professionals become eligible to participate?

Federal STEM professionals are expected to 1) submit a brief bio and/or resume, 2) submit a letter of interest that addresses why participation will benefit student engagement in STEM disciplines and 3) provide an official notice from their supervisor granting permission to participate to carly.coleman@opm.gov no later than January 31, 2013.  The Review Committee will select the mentors based on several criteria, such as technical expertise, communication skills, and commitment to mentoring students in STEM fields.


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