STEM / STEAM in ACTION: Hill Blastoff! Event a Smashing Success

May 17, 2015

ASTRA joined its partners, including the Prince George’s County Public Schools and the Global NetGeneration of Youth STEM Ambassadors for Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-4) 7th Annual Blastoff! event held on Capitol Hill April 28. Rep. Edwards, who serves as the Ranking Member on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Space, was a corecipient of this year’s George E. Brown Award, conferred by the ASTRAsupported STEM on The Hill TM Congressional Visits Day event on March 17.

Blastoff! showcased leading STEM and STEAM experts from key STEM Science Agencies, including the White House, NASA, the Dept. of Commerce, the USDA, and leading companies from within Maryland’s 4th Congressional District. More than 320 STEM students from various high schools and middle schools from Prince Georges County, MD participated in the event. The Global NetGeneration of Youth were inspired by role models who recounted their personal stories on how they pursued STEM career paths and overcame obstacles to become global STEM leaders.

Moderator: Ms. Veronica Nelson (Northrop Grumman Corporation)
“STEM=STEAM is critical to our survival; everything you do and touch involves STEM- STEAM.   8 out of 10 of the most needed jobs are in STEM -STEAM.  Our challenges to increase STEM – STEAM pipelines and pathways are to address the 3 A’s:  awareness, availability and access.”

Left:  Dr. Christine Barrow (Prince George’s Community College), Mr. John Ceschini (Prince George’s County Public Schools), and Mr. Julio Puentes (Hispanic Serving Institutions National Program, USDA). Mr. John Ceschini---asking…Why STEAM?  STEAM cultivates 21st century skills- critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration.  Learning in and through the ARTS with STEAM programs move us forward….

Right: The next generation of STEAM leaders listens intently to current STEM / STEAM leaders and how they chose their paths to STEM success.

Left: Ms. L. Latéy Bradford (University of Maryland School of Medicine)  Topic:  Pre-College Challenges to Finding and Forming STEAM talent Ms. Bradford took time to explain that success is more than just scoring well on a test; it takes hard work, dedication and courage to explore your passion….even when your friends go a different way.  ...  "I didn't always succeed because I was the best, but because I worked hard and made great decisions"

Right: ASTRA Executive Director Dr. Robert Boege, right, joins in support of Blastoff! event with Dr. Rodney J. Petersen — Lead, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at the National Institute of Standards & Technology, U.S Department of Commerce (center) and Mr. John Ceschini, Executive of Director of Arts Integration for the Prince Georges County Public Schools on April 28.