The Johns Hopkins University and Lockheed Martin today announced a partnership aimed at enhancing opportunities for Baltimore City public school students pursuing academic and career fields in science, technology, engineering, and math. The collaboration is designed to close the STEM gap that exists primarily in Pre-K through 12th grade.
Through the partnership with the university's Whiting School of Engineering, Lockheed Martin will contribute financial support, staff engagement, and technical assessment expertise to the engineering school's Center for Educational Outreach, a team of scientists, engineers, and educators dedicated to inspiring and preparing Pre-K through 12th-grade students to pursue STEM educations and careers.
The collaboration marks the first corporate investment of this level to the Center for Educational Outreach, which was founded in 2003 to improve STEM activities for students from underrepresented populations.
"We are grateful to Lockheed Martin for partnering with us in such a significant manner and so appreciate their response to this critical need," said Ed Schlesinger, dean of the Whiting School. "This collaboration enhances our efforts to help new generations of students understand the limitless potential available to them as future engineers and scientists."
He added: "Our community's and our city's economic and social well-being, as well as that of our nation, depend on developing generations of students who are fluent in the language of the 21st century—namely, the skills and knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math. We have to start early, and we have to start with the students in our own community."
Advancing STEM education has a been critical core focus for Lockheed Martin, a Bethesda-based global security and aerospace company that employs 100,000 people worldwide. The Johns Hopkins partnership marks a key commitment to that objective. Areas supported by the new collaboration include: curriculum enrichment, out-of-school time (after- school and summer programs), engineering activities, teacher professional development, and technology upgrades.
Specific examples include:
- Enabling students at Western High School to gain hands-on research experience in various labs throughout the Johns Hopkins campus through the support of CEO's Women in Science and Engineering program
- Renovating Barclay Elementary/Middle School classrooms to transform them into interactive STEM-learning environments
- Supporting the Summer STEM Academy, a three-week learning experience for 5th- through 8th-grade students from various Baltimore City public schools
"Like many of my colleagues, I grew up in Baltimore and attended Baltimore City public schools," said Charles Johnson-Bey, cyber solutions director of engineering and technology at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, and a 1989 JHU graduate. "I know firsthand how STEM programs can shape a student's career path and, ultimately, their life. That's why this partnership with JHU is so special to me and to Lockheed Martin. We look forward to sparking students' passion for engineering through this program and providing the next generation with opportunities to see how they can change the world through technology."
While the partnership will support a dozen STEM initiatives, Lockheed Martin's primary focus will be the Whiting School's multiyear commitment to the Barclay Elementary/Middle School. In 2015, Johns Hopkins launched an initiative with Baltimore City Public Schools to transform Barclay into Baltimore City's first Pre-K through 8th STEM flagship grade school.
The partnership officially launches at the inaugural Science and Engineering Expo at the Barclay Elementary/Middle School, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. The event kicks off with students showcasing STEM projects and concludes with the Family Engineering Challenge. As part of this activity, families will work together at home to develop a product (according to guidelines and constraints) that protects an egg from a free fall drop. Families will test their products at the Expo.
Also at the Expo, Barclay students will participate in 10 hands-on activities organized by the Whiting School of Engineering's Clark Scholars, undergraduate students who are dedicated to using engineering to improve the community. In addition to underwriting the Expo, Lockheed Martin employees will serve as volunteers onsite.
Barclay Elementary/Middle School is located at the intersection 29th Street and Barclay Street. The partnership between Johns Hopkins and Barclay is intended to spark higher achievement at the grade school and prepare each student for 21st century careers.