STARBASE Victory, the 17-year non-profit program which has “graduated” over 17,000 Portsmouth Public Schools elementary school students in STEM skills, is hosting Launching Futures STEM Education Awards Dinner. The oganization’s inspiration is to help connect the region’s businesses that are in search of STEM graduates with educators interested in developing a STEM skilled workforce. Presented by TowneBank, Launching Futures is the first dinner of its kind in the region which creates a forum for awareness and recognition of the area’s STEM education opportunities and champions.
Launching Futures is…
• An inaugural dinner planned for March 11, 2020 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Norfolk Sheraton Hotel
• With two exciting presenters who advocate early exposure to STEM: Dr. Julian Earls, retired Director of the NASA Glenn Research Center, and Dr. Tina Manglicmot, Director for STEM and Innovation for the Virginia Department of Education.
• A launch of a new scholarship program. Proceeds this year will support the Portsmouth Public Schools STARBASE Victory program. In the future, other school divisions will be welcome to join this effort to highlight “best practices” in early STEM education across the region.
• A recognition for six individual and business awards that highlight successful contributions to STEM initiatives and education:
Sustained Corporate Support for STEM Education: Newport News Shipbuilding
Small Business Support for STEM Education: SimIS, Inc.
STEM Innovator Award: Dr. Angela D. Reddix, ARDX
Lifetime Contributor to Early STEM Education: Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, Elizabeth River Project
STEM Teacher of the Year Award: Heather Overkamp, Portsmouth Public Schools
STEM Student of the Year Award: Trinity Allen, I. C. Norcom High School
These award recipients, as well as the two highly regarded STEM educators selected as presenters, will inspire attendees to continue an extremely important conversation: how to develop and expand STEM skills education, where more students will begin early to learn STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math) and plan their future careers in a thriving Hampton Roads economy which will need their skills.
The event has developed out of discussions on the shortage of graduates in STEM fields within the region and beyond as well as concern for the future talent which will be needed for a healthy economy. The desire to ensure that our own youth are prepared to gain employment in our industries—from shipbuilding to tech companies, serving as the engineers, inventors, and in other fields—is critical.
Over 22 sponsors to date are excited to support Launching Futures, including both industry leaders such as the Port of Virginia and Newport News Shipbuilding and educational institutions such as the Aviation Institute of Maintenance/Centura College/Tidewater Tech and nearly every college or university with locations in the region. Please contact Susan Long-Molnar, Development Director, STARBASE Victory at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on sponsorships. Individual tickets may be purchased online at stemawardsdinner.eventbrite.com.