The U.S. is currently prioritizing their public education agenda to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. The Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) and its Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) have created a pilot program to highlight aspects of the underwater archaeology field in order to complement STEM initiatives. The purpose of this Underwater Archaeology STEM Program Pilot Project is to expand the reach and influence of both the NHHC and the history and archaeology career field, and educational opportunities associated with underwater archeological science and technology.
Archaeologists from the NHHC’s UAB and educators for the National Museum of the U.S. Navy presented the pilot program at the recent NHHC Professional Development Workshop, held a the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.
The UA STEM program fulfills curriculum requirements for teachers and faculty; efforts are currently pointed towards high schools in DC, MD & VA that are focused on STEM programming and offer courses in either oceanography, archaeology or marine sciences. The target audience is:
- High School Students: STEM candidates, and students involved in history, social sciences, mathematics, engineering, technology or marine science.
Undergraduate Students: With disciplines in history, social sciences, bio-sciences, engineering, technology, meteorology, archeology, or other related fields.
- Graduate Students: With disciplines in history, social sciences, bio-sciences, engineering, technology, meteorology, archeology, or other related fields.
- -Chemical Processes, Physics, Oceanography, Geology, Geography, Environmental Science, etc.
- -ROVs, AUVs, Side Scan Sonar, Multi-beam Sonar, submersibles, dive equipment, GIS, computer programming, 3D Imaging, etc.
- -Civil, Mechanical, and Ocean Engineering.
- -Site Mapping, Data Plotting, GIS, diving, navigation, etc.
Students and groups are currently invited to tour the Underwater Archaeology Conservation Laboratory and the National Museum of the U.S. Navy. The NHHC and the UAB also have an energetic public outreach program geared towards students and veterans groups. The Underwater Archaeology Branch takes in spring, summer, and fall interns to complete projects either at the conservation lab, on policy and permitting, or archaeological site survey and reporting.