With Charles County’s location in the center of a regional technology corridor and the aging of our STEM workforce, Charles County has a goal of attracting and preparing students at all educational levels to pursue STEM coursework; supporting students to pursue post-secondary degrees; providing students and teachers with STEM related growth and research opportunities; and expanding the capacity of the school system to promote STEM education. Programs have been developed and implemented by the school system at all grade levels to meet these goals. Some examples of these programs include trans-disciplinary curricula, Gateway and Project Lead The Way classes found in every middle school and high school with the high school program expanding to include more students, lessons co-taught by a scientist or engineer, and programs in which robotics and Chesapeake Bay issues introduce the use of technology with science and environmental issues.
In partnership with the Space Foundation, Charles County Public Schools has put into place professional development for teachers to increase their knowledge and application of space and aerospace technologies. This provides them a good foundation to become more comfortable with fundamental space and aerospace concepts allowing them to not only share their knowledge with their students, but also their enthusiasm for aerospace engineering. SSEP can support the school system’s vision by engaging students in authentic scientific thinking and problem solving as they become scientists in this historic endeavor.