The Aerospace Corporation Emphasizes Greater Need for STEM during National Engineers Week

El Segundo, Calif. (Feb 20, 2014) – In a column in Change the Equation’s February newsletter, Dr. Wanda Austin, president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation emphasized the ongoing need for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Austin’s column was featured during National Engineers Week, which is celebrated annually.

“Engineer’s Week gives us the opportunity to dispel the perception held by many that STEM disciplines are too hard and not worth the effort,” said Austin. “STEM disciplines are hard, but the reward is being able to make a difference in the world by working on fascinating and worthwhile projects, resulting in solutions to serious problems.”

To mark National Engineers Week, Aerospace profiled four of the corporation’s engineers. They are a diverse group, with different backgrounds, but are representative of the engineering talent at Aerospace. One holds the most patents granted to an individual in the history of the corporation; another is a former flight controller for the International Space Station; the third, who has a doctorate in materials science, previously was Miss Chicago and a semi-finalist in the Miss Illinois pageant; and the last got his start in engineering when he entered college at age 13. What they have in common is they are all proud to be engineers at the corporation.

Aerospace is committed to developing and inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists. STEM has been a focal point for the corporation for years. Through employee volunteerism, and student and teacher collaboration, Aerospace continues to focus on inspiring middle and high school students to consider careers in the STEM disciplines. Aerospace recently created a new STEM program, the Greater Los Angeles Education-Aerospace Partnership, which is focused on engaging with local middle and high schools teachers and students in the Los Angeles area.

Aerospace’s marquee program, the Robert H. Herndon Memorial Achievement Competition and Seminar, is an event that includes a science fair in which high school and middle school teams are challenged to create innovative science projects based on scientific facts and principles. Essays by individual students may also be submitted in lieu of projects. A team of Aerospace employees judge the science fair and individual essays. Additional STEM programs Aerospace is involved with are US FIRST Robotics, MathCounts, Change the Equation, and Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievements.

The Aerospace Corporation is a California nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has almost 3,500 employees. It provides technical guidance and advice on all aspects of space missions to military, civil, and commercial customers to assure space mission success. The Aerospace Corporation is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with multiple locations across the United States.


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