7.1 The Role of Federally Funded Research Centers in STEM Education: NCAR's Education and Outreach Program

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 10:30 AM
North 229AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Rebecca Haacker, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and V. Sloan and J. LeBeau

Federally-funded research centers have a critical role in the nation's efforts to improve and strengthen STEM education. The National Science Foundation’s National Center for Atmospheric Research is a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center serving a broad research community, including atmospheric and geospace scientists and researchers in complementary areas of the environmental sciences and geosciences. NCAR’s commitment to Education and Outreach is to provide transformative STEM educational and training experiences for all learners. NCAR’s programs support the advancement of individuals’ careers in the atmospheric and related sciences and entrain future generations of diverse scientists and engineers into its research NCAR's education activities inspire and engage the public. In 2017, NCAR embarked on a strategic planning process with wide stakeholder input to formalize its existing education efforts and develop new initiatives based on center and community needs. The 2018-2024 Strategic Plan for Education & Outreach is the first for NCAR and will provide guidance for NCAR's education activities and a framework for tracking and reporting impact. The plan’s three main strategic goals are 1) To inspire, engage and inform the public about the atmospheric and related sciences conducted by NCAR and the university community. 2) To entrain and prepare a highly skilled and diverse workforce for careers in the atmospheric and related sciences, and 3) To support the university community in educating students in the atmospheric and related sciences. This talk will discuss NCAR's contributions to the national STEM education effort, and discuss how formal and informal education activities need to be accessible to all learners to support meaningful change.
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