high school students in robotic lab

BlueTech and Beyond: MITRE’s Commitment to Next Generation STEM Talent

By Dominique Perkins

In 2023, MITRE’s BlueTech, Corporate Social Innovation, and STEM Council teams hosted campus visits and interactive learning sessions for students of all ages as part of our commitment to providing early STEM education.

MITRE holds a deep commitment to providing early science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Our efforts include programs that target middle and high school students from underrepresented communities and college students from undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

From Student Programs and our Inclusion and Diversity’s STEM business resource group (BRG) to our BlueTech experts, teams across MITRE that work to accelerate maritime innovation bring this commitment to life.

In 2023, we hosted more than 500 student interns across the organization, including a third annual cohort of Cyber Futures Interns from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions. Read about their experiences

MITRE partnered this summer with MassRobotics to host a five-day summer BlueTech Academy for students from Boston-area high schools. Students worked at MassRobotics’ Boston offices to learn the basics about the BlueTech industry and meet researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus. Working with MITRE mentors, they built mini underwater, remotely operated vehicles.

Our partnership with MassRobotics exposes students and educators to the growing opportunities within BlueTech.

Jay Lustig, Maritime Business Operations Principal

“Partnering with MassRobotics to develop this academy for students was an exciting way for us to begin our commitment to expose students and educators to the growing opportunities within the BlueTech economy,” says MITRE’s Jay Lustig, who led the effort.

In another summer program, MITRE’s Bedford, Mass.,-based STEM Council partnered with Project LEARN to welcome middle and high school students from the Lowell, Mass., area to learn over the course of two days about drones, underwater vehicles, and 3D printing.

Meanwhile, at our McLean, Virginia, headquarters, our Corporate Social Innovation team also hosted lab tours for over 30 high school students from George Mason University’s Early Identification Program. Students visited different MITRE labs and learned about topics ranging from small robotics to autonomous vehicles.

“The kids had an absolute blast. They especially loved the flight simulator in the IDEA lab,” says Aaron Muz, assistant director for College Readiness at George Mason University. After the lab tours, students had lunch with MITRE subject matter experts and discussed STEM career pathways.

“The STEM Council Business Resource Group leverages these innovative MITRE leaders to build the future STEM talent pipeline by engaging with educators, parents, and students across the country to support events like these,” says Alessandra Hagarty, software engineer and acting chair of the STEM BRG.

These programs and partnerships can have a meaningful impact on the future STEM workforce.

MITRE’s Nick Rotker, BlueTech strategist, says, “As we continue to expand our utilization of the world’s oceans into new areas [offshore wind, carbon dioxide removal, coastal resiliency], we’ll need a future workforce capable of performing jobs on the water with advanced technology. Programs like this help cultivate that next generation of talent.”

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