LASER: Leadership and Science Ensures Results- Evolution of a STEM Partnership
Abstract: This paper is authored by Jill Brooks of Raytheon and the paper is part of the 2013 ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference proceedings.
The STEM crisis was the catalyst for a partnership between Raytheon and McKinney Independent School District to develop LASER (Leadership And Science Ensures Results), a STEM outreach program.
LASER started as a technical and leadership curriculum embedded in the 11th grade Physics curriculum, in 2010-2011. After two years of execution, with many lessons learned, the high school curriculum was re-designed, and the original curriculum was refined to meet the abilities/needs of 6th grade students for 2012-2013.
The program has touched 4500+ high school students over three years and 2250+ middle school students this year. Feedback from students, teachers, and administrators is positive and there are now “LASER Graduates” pursuing STEM education in college. Data indicates the program has caused 42% of the students to consider pursuing a STEM career. In addition, 14% of the participants stated that the program re-affirmed their interest in STEM. That means 57% of the participants have been positively impacted in terms of pursuing STEM careers, which is a start at closing the gap in the STEM pipeline.
Keywords: STEM - Conference Proceedings - K-12 Outreach - Partnering