US Space Force connects with state leaders to promote STEM education

Chief of Space Operations, General John W. “Jay” Raymond visits with Tennessee leaders in Nashville, May 20-21, 2021. During his visit, General Raymond visited with the Tennessee STEM Executive Council and was interviewed for the Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit supporting K-12 educators through STEM professional learning both hosted through the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN).

NASHVILLE – Chief of Space Operations for the United States Space Force Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond engaged with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network’s (TSIN) STEM Executive Council to discuss the human capital needs and future work for the United States Space Force.

This visit was an opportunity for Gen. Raymond to inform state leadership, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industry executives, and K-12 educators about the U.S. Space Force and its mission. Members of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD), Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE), Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee State Senate, Deloitte, Fedex and Oak Ridge National Lab participated in the meeting.

During the visit, Gen. Raymond described the United States Space Force’s primary goal of providing the first digital service that embraces innovation to protect the interconnected infrastructure in space that all Americans have come to rely on.  To achieve that goal, young learners must engage in inspiring, STEM-focused learning experiences from the earliest grades to postsecondary.  

“Space is hard,” explained Gen. Raymond. “We are a tech-heavy, digital service that has to operate in a complex, competitive and congested environment. We need a technically minded and digitally fluent workforce steeped in science, technology, engineering and math. We look forward to partnering with organizations like the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and explore opportunities to bring space into classrooms.”  

Chief of Space Operations, General John W. “Jay” Raymond visits with Tennessee leaders in Nashville, May 20-21, 2021.

The TSIN STEM Executive Council is focused on identifying programs and supports to prepare students for meaningful careers in a variety of fields, such as engineering, cyber-security, biomedical, manufacturing and healthcare. Educational partnerships with leading businesses and employment sectors offer students real-world interaction and a first-hand knowledge of industries and career paths. 

“Through Gov. Bill Lee’s Future Workforce Initiative, Tennessee is committed to connecting STEM-educated students to the well-paying and in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn. “With our state’s strong presence in the military and technology sectors, we look forward to more opportunities to work with the United States Space Force to help educate the workforce of the future, both by growing our number of STEM designated schools and exploring additional innovative pathways for Tennessee’s next generations to become trailblazers.”

Individual organizations are resilient, innovative and resourceful. By working together, these efforts become a dynamic network of shining lights for Tennessee’s educational community. 

TNECD Deputy Commissioner Allen Borden explained, “STEM education helps to support job creation and investment in our state. The collaboration between the organizations represented through TSIN’s STEM Executive Council and the United States Space Force will provide a multitude of benefits for K-12 education stakeholders. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development looks forward to these partnerships advancing the workforce development pipeline in Tennessee.”

The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network is a public-private collaborative between the Tennessee Department of Education and Battelle Education, emphasizing a “kindergarten through jobs” philosophy by promoting the teaching and learning of STEM education and integrating real-world and hands-on learning in K-12 public schools across Tennessee. Visit: Follow us on Twitter: @theTSIN. 

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