FAQs

What is the DoD STEM mission?

The Department of Defense (DoD) STEM mission is to attract, inspire, and develop exceptional STEM talent across the education continuum to enrich our current and future DoD workforce to meet defense technological challenges. In alignment with the Federal plan, the Department’s strategy collectively addresses critical STEM challenges as a national priority through communication, talent inspiration and cultivation, and diversity emphasis using evidence-based approaches. Throughout the DoD, the services and agencies have invested in the future STEM talent pool to meet their unique mission needs. This Department-wide strategic plan is an overarching framework that is driven by the Federal priorities with a focus on developing education and outreach initiatives that are unique to DoD’s mission, needs, and resources and required to build the force of the future needed to serve and defend our Nation.

I'm a scientist or engineer at a DoD laboratory. How can I get involved? 

DoD is always searching for volunteers and mentors for our STEM programs. Contact info@DoDSTEM.us for lab-specific information in your area.

How can I get involved if I am not near a Department of Defense laboratory?

You may not live or work near at DoD laboratory or facility, but that won’t prevent you from inspiring the next generation of DoD talent! If you would like to get involved please send an e-mail to info@DoDSTEM.us. Include your contact information and any information you feel would be relevant to your situation. We will contact you and provide additional information regarding specific DoD STEM initiatives in your immediate area, suggest ways you can get involved with DoD STEM remotely, or even help establish new programs in your backyard.

I'm a middle or high school science or math teacher. Why should I contact my local laboratory? 

We have found that both teachers and students are re-invigorated when scientists or engineers visit classrooms during hands-on learning activities. These working professionals are able to share "real world" stories with students about why their research in technical disciplines such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, mechanical engineering, and computer science is important and how it applies in real-world situations. These examples, from respected technical experts from the local community, tend to emphasize how important, and rewarding, it can be for students to learn academic concepts like algebra, trigonometry or the periodic table of the elements. At one time or another every kid out there has wondered "what does this subject have to do with the real world?" When DoD scientists and engineers visit the classroom and share exciting details about their daily work lives, this perennial mystery is suddenly cleared up. The LabTV webisodes, available at this website, have also been designed to showcase exciting careers available through the DoD.

I'm a high school student interested in learning more about technical careers. What resources are available to me through this program?

You are encouraged to click on the "DoD Careers" link in the "About" section at the top of this page to find out more about DoD STEM professions. At this critical time in our nation's history, the Department of Defense is continually looking for young, eager STEM professionals to lead our workforce into the next generation. Interested in getting a front row seat to DoD STEM? Head to our "STEM Programs" page to find out how you can become an intern at a DoD laboratory or facility, conducting real-world research alongside our nation's most elite STEM talent.

Does the DoD offer scholarships?

Yes! The Department of Defense offers a variety of STEM scholarships, internships, and other programs. Our flagship scholarship is the SMART scholarship-for-service program. This program covers all education expenses while students pursue an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral STEM degree, and students are guaranteed a job in DoD lab or facility upon graduation. What's more, SMART scholars intern at their future lab location in the summers leading up to graduation, allowing them to hit the ground running when they start work. Visit STEM Programs to learn more about SMART and other DoD STEM programs.