The National Defense Education Program (NDEP) supports the future workforce needs of the Department of Defense. NDEP does this by supporting US students across the entire spectrum of their education experience via three major program components – a (1) pre-college program, a (2) university scholarship program and a (3) faculty fellowship program. Through the pre-college program NDEP focuses on engaging students in the elementary, middle and high school (K-12) years and offering them innovative learning experiences, opportunities and tools. With the college (undergraduate and graduate) piece of the program, NDEP supports increase by providing direct financial (tuition, stipend) support and work experience opportunities to nurture continued academic studies in fields of general interest to the Department of Defense. In the post-graduate component of the program the DoD awards substantial faculty fellowships in areas of critical interest to national security.
In the pre-college program NDEP emphasizes hands-on learning experiences and encourages students and teachers of all ages to "learn by doing" with STEM Learning Modules, or SLM. In the college and university years NDEP support increases as we focus on providing basic and applied research opportunities that are strengthened through summer internship work experiences. The vehicle through which this is done is the SMART scholarship program. In the post-graduate period of a students career the NDEP support increases even further through basic research opportunities offered at a range of research universities nationwide through its National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF).
The National Defense Education Program (NDEP) is a 21st century update to the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) which Congress enacted in 1958 to reorder the perceived advantage that the Soviet Union seized when it launched Sputnik into space. The NDEA authorized a far-sighted investment in science, engineering, and math education that produced the vaunted "rocket science" generation that came to work for the federal government beginning in the 1960s and secured the technological superiority of the United States during the latter part of the 20th century.
America was once again shocked into reassessing the adequacy of our future science and engineering (S&E) workforce after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. That self-examination, and the need to put more people to work on technical solutions to the problems of terrorism, war, and national security, led Congress to authorize the Department of Defense to create the SMART (Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation) pilot program under the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2005. The immediate positive response to the SMART program prompted Congress to make SMART permanent and lay the foundation for a National Defense Education Program that would support the development of a new generation of scientists and engineers who will apply their human capital resource talents to use in our nation's defense laboratories.
If you can commit a set number of hours and professionals to build partnerships with your local schools, please contact email@example.com
As you might imagine, the level of commitment varies on a case-by-case basis dependent on the specifics of the initiative being supported. In general we are trying to establish good collaborative relationships with school teachers on a regular and consistent basis. Experience is showing the degree of involvement seems to be on the order of a couple of hours per week, typically. This degree of involvement will change according to the phase of activity (planning, training, classroom lesson, etc).
The ultimate objective of the STEM Learning Module component, for example, is to have our defense scientists and engineers team up with the school teachers, during school/working hours, to help teachers deliver a more exciting math and science learning experience.
NDEP is a Department of Defense program that uses DoD personnel and facilities to support STEM education in their surrounding communities. This strategy has succeeded in launching laboratory-based local STEM partnerships at 23 sites in 17 states. NDEP has plans to expand our growing footprint to additional states where DoD laboratories are located and to collaborate with industry and professional organizations to extend our support to communities beyond the reach of our current implementation. If you would like to get involved please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your contact info and any information you feel would be relevant to your situation. We will contact you and provide additional information regarding specific NDEP activity in your immediate area or suggest ways you can get involved with NDEP remotely.
We have found that both teachers and students are re-invigorated when scientists or engineers visit classrooms during hands-on learning activities. These working professionals are able to share "real world" stories with students about why their research in technical disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, mechanical engineering, and computer science is important and how it applies in real-world situations. These examples, from respected technical experts from the local community, tend to emphasize how important, and rewarding, it can be for students to learn academic concepts like algebra, trigonometry or the periodic table of the elements. At one time or another every kid out there has wondered "what does this subject have to do with the real world?" When DoD scientists and engineers visit the classroom and share exciting details about their daily work lives, this perennial mystery is suddenly cleared up. The LabTV webisodes, available at this website, have also been designed to showcase exciting careers available through the DoD.
First of all please browse through the sections of this NDEP website. Check out the Starlink newsletters, which includes many articles highlighting different career experiences and opportunities. You will also find links to defense research and development centers that collectively employee tens of thousands scientists and engineers of all disciplines throughout the country, If you are interested in working with or for the Department of Defense the key will be to establish an initial contact with personnel at one of our locations through one of the DoD programs (such as NDEP) so that they are aware of your interest. NDEP and its partners provide a number of opportunities, plus the individual military services will also have additional programs independent of NDEP. You can also access information on these opportunities through the hyperlinks at this website as well. If you have additional questions please send your question to email@example.com.
The Department of Defense does not offer scholarships to high school students but we do have programs that allow us to provide other types of support to interested high school students. Although not a part of NDEP, one such program is the Science and Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP) offered by the Army and Navy. Once students reach college, the DoD offers the SMART program and paid internship opportunities (check out “SMART” under the Programs pull-down menu).
Also, make sure to check out the "Students" section of this website. You will find more information and links about organizations and competitions available to someone with your areas of interest.
The best way to get specific information on our K-12 STEM Learning Module program is to send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with some general information about you. We will direct your inquiry to the DoD Coordinator that is closest to you.
Questions about NDEP that weren't answered in the FAQ's? Email us at email@example.com