A two-week fellowship program hosted by the Naval Submarine Base New London’s Submarine Force Library and Museum is providing an opportunity for six teachers from southeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island to learn how the history and technology inherent in the Navy’s submarine force can bring alive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
This is the second year of the program, which helps the teachers use exhibits at the museum and the Historic Ship Nautilus, along with submarine operations at the base, to develop new lesson plans, reported the Dolphin.
“Their knowledge is great, but now it’s extended even more, because they’ve applied it in a field that they haven’t really thought of before — the submarine force,” said retired Navy Capt. John Paulson, who helped lead the fellowship program as the education coordinator for the Naval Historical Foundation.
For the fellows’ part, the program provides a rare chance to use a local example to demonstrate a real-life application of STEM education.
“The submarine force here is a wonderful resource because there are not too many places I can think of that incorporate mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, and even history,” said a teacher from a Madison, Conn., high school. “Being able to show students that there’s application outside of the classroom is important for getting them to develop an interest in learning,” he said.
After visiting the program last month, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor came away impressed by the Navy’s initiative. “The Navy is making a truly invaluable contribution here and there’s no better way to do it,” Pryor said.