STEMWorks is a group of passionate educators and we are proud of our accomplishments.  

Below is a sample of our latest work. We would be happy to talk with you in greater detail about our current work.

Engineering Mobile's STEM Workforce

Since 2015, the MCPSS Junior Researve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program, in partnership with STEMWorks, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, and area colleges and universities, has spearheaded a 6-day, 5-night residential JROTC STEM Leadership Academy on the campus of Spring Hill College in Mobile as a STEM workforce development strategy. The Academy is specially designed to address the needs of students from economically disadvantaged families and those from home environments non-supportive of STEM. During the Academy, 160 cadets from 14 different high schools are organized into 6 platoons (25-30 cadet each) so that each platoon represents a cross section of schools, gender and ethnicity. Each Academy’s curriculum consists of a carefully coordinated 6-day sequence of engaging learning opportunities central to one or more of the region’s industry clusters, e.g. aviation, maritime, advanced manufacturing. In addition to physical fitness and other activities required by JROTC Cadet Command (e.g., land navigation), the Academy curriculum emphasizes leadership development and STEM learning through lab investigations at area university campuses, site visits to area industry and museums, and STEM design challenges. STEM challenges are presented in the form of a real-world problem that connects to both military and civilian careers. 

Securing Funds to Ensure Sustainability

Currently, Dr. Pruet is a co-Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation funded project, "Leveraging the US Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Program to Develop a Regional STEM Workforce (NSF ITEST #1759430)." The STEMWorks team is proud to have taken the lead in writing this grant proposal which provides funds for development, implementation, and research for the JROTC STEM Leadership for three years and totals nearly one million dollars. In addition to this national grant, STEMWorks partnered with the JROTC Program to secure local grants from community organizations and governmental agencies. The total grant funds awarded to the JROTC Program total over 1.2 million dollars over six years. 

The JROTC STEM Leadership Academy has a variety of resources and lesson samples available for free. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No.1759430. Download free materials on our Resources page.

Publications & Presentations

Dean, M.D., & Van Haneghan, J. (2018, October). Evaluating the impact of adding STEM education in the US Army junior reserve officer training corps (JROTC) program to develop a regional STEM workforce. AEA National Conference. Cleveland, OH.

Dean, M.D. (2017, October). STEM college and career choices of JROTC cadets: Investigating the long- term effects of a summer STEM academy on cadets’ plans for entering STEM fields. CREATE 26th Annual Conference. Virginia Beach, VA.

Harlan, J., Van Haneghan, J., Dean, M.,Pruet, S. (2015) Evaluating the Impact of Curriculum-Integrated Engineering Design Modules in Middle Grades Classrooms

Harlan, J., Pruet, S., Van Haneghan, J., Dean, M. (2014) Using Curriculum-Integrated Engineering Modules to Improve Understanding of Math and Science Content and STEM Attitudes in Middle Grades Students. ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Indianapolis, IN.

Harlan, J., Van Haneghan, J., Dean, M., (2013). Using the E in STEM as a Catalyst for Science and Mathematics Curriculum Reform in a Large School District. American Society for Engineering Educators. Atlanta, GA.

Pruet, S., Dean, M., Duke, J., (2013). Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) Modules: Integrating and Bringing Relevance to Core Middle Grades Mathematics and Science Content. NSF Successful STEM Ed: STEM Smart Conference. Atlanta, GA.

Van Haneghan, J., Pruet, S., Dean, M., DeCristofano, C., Waltman, R., (2012). Keeping an EYE on Things: Classroom Observation and Fidelity of Implementation. P-12 Engineering and Design Education Research Summit. Washington, D.C.