DoD STEM initiatives are aimed at better preparing our children for the future. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. But STEM is more than just an acronym, it's a way to ensure America stays competitive.
LabTV videos feature compelling real-life stories by enthusiastic professionals to show students exactly why their STEM classroom studies matter. Each video is accompanied by a teacher guide designed to help educators develop a STEM lesson plan around each video.
The drop down boxes allows sorting by military service or by STEM subject area. All videos are also accessible on the LabTV YouTube Channel.
Making Metal: Mixing and Matching for Strength and Versatility
Scientists and engineers at NAVSEA Carderock in Bethesda, Md., are working with the heaviest materials of all -- metals. Metals can transfer heat -- they're easy to mold and shape -- and they have conductivity, so electrons can move through them easily.
In nature metals usually occur as ores which are mined and then cleaned and refined. Metal elements can be combined to form useful materials called alloys. The scientists at NAVSEA Carderock have taken that innovation a step further, creating new ways to combine metals that improve performance and make them even more useful.
Math Counts: Getting Good at Math for Fun and Trophies
Calling themselves "Mathletes," a combination of "math" and "athlete," the students gathered in Perry Hall, Maryland are taking part in MATHCOUNTS. The free program supports middle-school math competitions and clubs in every U.S. state and territory.
MATHCOUNTS starts in the fall with weekly meetings where coaches help students learn to tackle tough problems. Each February, more than 500 chapter tournaments like this one are held. The winning teams and individuals move on to state and national competitions.
Mission to Mars: Surviving in Space is All Part of the Fun
Mission to Mars is a simulated exercise, but just like real astronauts students had to prepare for their mission through hands-on math and science.
For four months, students have learned about Mars in their classrooms. They studied the planet's atmosphere and determined how they would survive there; they designed life-support systems, planned meals, and figured out how to communicate with Earth.
It's all at their hands.
Many people use personal electronic devices such as iPods to store music, downloads, and other information. Now, Marines can use a tool called the MPod, made just for them and based on the iPod Touch.
On My Wavelength: Air Force Engineers Are Sending the Right Signals
Antennas are the eyes and ears of everything we do, transmitting radio waves to link our cell phones, TVs, and other electronics. These radio waves carry energy through the air between antennas -- sending information like images and voices.
Every system operates on its own specific wavelength, so it needs an antenna designed to receive that wave. Engineers at an Air Force research lab in Dayton, Ohio, are designing, building, and testing antennas in many shapes and sizes -- to go on airplanes, inside radios, and even on huge towers.
Perfect Fit: Making Sure Marines Fit Perfectly
Marines spend hours at a time driving around on missions in mine-resistant ambush-protected, or MRAP, vehicles. These trucks need to be functional, comfortable, and safe.
A Navy team of engineers and scientists are designing MRAP vehicle interiors by combining engineering skills with "Human Systems Integration," a process by which products are designed based on the needs and abilities of the people using them. So human factors such as hearing, sight, emotions, and intelligence are considered by the design team to build the best model.
Plug-N-Play Satellites: A Revolution in Spacecraft Design
Billions of dollars and dozens of years are spent to build satellite systems, and most efforts involve getting all the parts to communicate and work together.
Power Harvesting: Induction Magic
Pulling energy from the sky.
Figuring out how to harness electricity from power lines isn't the only amazing goal that Air Force research lab engineers achieved. They still had a question: could electronics such as cameras and radio transmitters be fired up by placing them on power lines?
That process -- capturing magnetic energy and turning it back into electricity -- is called electromagnetic induction. The answer was "yes," and now that the engineers can harness this energy, they have big plans to power other devices.
Power Harvesting: The Bat Hook Helping Special Ops 'Superheroes'
Power lines crisscross the skies, delivering electricity with the flip of a switch. But what happens when a soldier is outside, away from an electrical outlet, and unable to access electricity to power equipment or recharge batteries?
Printing New Skin: Saving Lives with Ink Jet Printers
By modifying an ink jet printer and growing skin cells from a patient's body, a U.S. Army research lab has developed an amazing treatment for severe burns: printing new skin.
Once the patient's skin cells are in a sterile ink cartridge, a computer uses a three dimensional map of the wound to guide the printing.
"The bio-printer drops each type of cell precisely where it needs to go," explains Kyle Binder, a biomedical scientist at the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine's Wake Forest lab. "The wound gets filled in and then those cells become new skin."