Innovative forum website connects students with nationally recognized experts in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
BEAVER, Pa., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Network of Digital Schools is proud to announce the launch of STEMplanet.org, a new and innovative forum website designed to spark interest in and prepare today's students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
"We know that curricula in the STEM subjects have become highly sought after as a result of America's decreasing competitiveness in economic and technical arenas over the last decade," said Caroline Hardman, Special Projects Coordinator at NNDS. "While it's critical that we invest in preparing young people for careers in these fields, more needs to be done to bridge the gap between textbooks and practical application. By building and maintaining a forum website where students and experts can share information and discuss current scientific and engineering topics at their convenience, we are providing a solution to the issue."
STEM Planet will feature regular blog posts by experts working in STEM fields, forums where students and experts can engage in an ongoing dialogue, and STEM-related activities that students can conduct, discuss, and learn from.
For over 2 years, NNDS has been at the forefront of STEM education in America. Through collaboration with scientific staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory, they have developed the Cutting Edge Science (CES) program. Distributed through the Lincoln Interactive line of curriculum, CES courses offer online-delivered coursework in biology, energy, and engineering. Their newest course, Engineering LandSpeed Vehicles, was developed through collaboration with over 100 scientists, engineers, and race car builders associated with the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association.
NNDS has and continues to work with the faculty and staff from the University of New Mexico, California University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to develop programs that connect the future of science in America with experts working in those fields today.
Through NNDS' unique relationships with these leading science and research facilities, many scientists and experts will contribute to STEM Planet. Among the many include:
- Dr. Sebastian Mernild, Ph.D., a climate and polar scientist currently working at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His research is in climate, and the impacts on ice, snow, and freshwater runoff to the ocean. A native of Denmark, Mernild has traveled extensively for his research including Greenland and the Arctic Circle, where much of his research has been focused.
- Dr. Phillip Jones, Ph.D., Team Leader of Los Alamos National Laboratory's Climate Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling (COSIM) project. Research in fluid dynamics has been a theme throughout his career. Prior to leading the COSIM team, Dr. Jones was the lead software engineer for the Parallel Ocean Program (POP), a model simulating Earth's ocean movement.
- Dr. Cynthia Welch, Ph.D., a chemist in Los Alamos National Laboratory's Materials Science and Technology Division. She actively creates and researches synthetic polymer materials which may be used in the creation of nanotechnological devices.
- Louise Ann Noeth, one of few women auto writers/racers in America. Working under the name "LandSpeed Louise," Noeth is a former professional drag racer who campaigned a 250 MPH jet dragster. She served on several auto industry technical committees developing self-regulating federal guidelines that are in effect today.
Hardman said the goal of STEM Planet is to ignite in America's youth that same spark that these experts experienced as children, launching interesting, varied, and satisfying careers. One unifying factor in their participation in STEM Planet is their passion for their work and a desire to share that with students.
"STEM Planet provides engineers, scientists, and mathematicians the opportunity to mentor students in STEM, providing them with new knowledge and enriching their educational experiences in these fields. With the rising problems that today's young people will face in medical, technical, agricultural, and energy-related domains, having an interested, inquisitive, and capable workforce in STEM fields will be essential to society."
STEM Planet (http://www.stemplanet.org/) will officially launch on Oct. 4, 2010.
About the National Network of Digital Schools (NNDS): The National Network of Digital Schools is a 501(c)3 non-profit management foundation, dedicated to providing the highest quality K-12 online curriculum and comprehensive management services to traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools and cyber schools focused on expanding educational opportunities for students. NNDS is the exclusive provider of Lincoln Interactive, the nation's leading K-12 online curriculum used by tens of thousands of students in more than 200 traditional classrooms and online schools in 14 states.
Communications Specialist, NNDS
SOURCE National Network of Digital Schools