PSNS & IMF STEM outreach program wins Navy-wide award

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BREMERTON, Wash. – Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility recently earned Navy-wide recognition for its educational Science, Technology, Engineering and Math outreach program that reached approximately 4,000 local students in 2016.

Commander, Navy Installations Command announced PSNS & IMF as the large shore command Navy Community Service Program Award winner in the Personal Excellence Partnership category March 30.

Although the award was given to the Shipyard, PSNS & IMF STEM Outreach Coordinator Corinne Beach said that they could not have reached as many students without key Navy STEM partners – Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport, Naval Undersea Museum and Puget Sound Navy Museum.

“We are extremely grateful for our partnerships with the local schools and with Keyport and the two Navy museums,” said Beach, who was recently selected by Central Kitsap School District as their recipient of the annual Community Leadership Award. “Because of these partnerships, we have been able to reach more students than we would have on our own, offer a wider variety of programs, and have an incredible mentor group with diverse expertise to call upon.”

PSNS & IMF’s STEM outreach program was selected as Navy Region Northwest’s winner in September. The program then went on to compete against other regional Navy winners for service-wide recognition.

The Navy STEM partnership outreach program works with local Kitsap-area school districts to promote student development, academic achievement and interest in STEM subjects. During the previous school year, volunteers from PSNS & IMF and its partners teamed up to assist more than 40 local Kitsap area schools in hands-on STEM engagement and learning. Through these joint outreach activities, Navy mentors were able to work with more than 4,200 students in various classroom projects.

“As a parent and teacher, I value the partnership because of the excitement and lasting impact on the students in my own class and my personal children,” said West Hill STEM Academy Instructional Coach Desiree Hall. “My students were introduced to ideas for their future that they would not have had in any other situation. The engineers that volunteer in our classrooms have been supportive and a wealth of knowledge. I am thankful for this program and hope it continues for a long time to come.”

More than 130 PSNS & IMF personnel volunteer to mentor students, judge local science fairs, support professional development events with educators, and participate in STEM festivals with hands-on exhibits for students and families. This includes sponsoring activities for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics, and Office of Naval Research’s SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) programs.

“Aside from the award, I feel like we win with every event,” said Beach. “We see lightbulbs go on every day when a student understands a new concept or is able to make their creation work! What’s important is doing what we can to help improve students’ experiences and shape their future for the better.”

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