DoD STEM initiatives are aimed at better preparing our children for the future. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. But STEM is more than just an acronym, it's a way to ensure America stays competitive.
LabTV videos feature compelling real-life stories by enthusiastic professionals to show students exactly why their STEM classroom studies matter. Each video is accompanied by a teacher guide designed to help educators develop a STEM lesson plan around each video.
The drop down boxes allows sorting by military service or by STEM subject area. All videos are also accessible on the LabTV YouTube Channel.
Carbon NanoPearls: Cooking Up Tomorrow's TV Technology
Combining the abilities of a master chef and a futuristic jeweler, materials engineer Shanee Pacley is a leading specialist in the exciting field of nanotechnology.
Pacley's specialty is nanopearls, clusters of extremely small balls of pure carbon that under a powerful microscope resemble a string of pearls. The young scientist cooks them up at 450 degrees Celsius and then studies their properties.
Cells In Space: Helping Astronauts and Injured Soldiers
An experiment created at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and blasted into space aboard the Space Shuttle is helping design better ways to treat injured soldiers and keep astronauts healthier.
Astronauts working in low gravity and the traumatically injured can both suffer from wasting, a condition where bone and muscle mass deteriorate. The automated Cell Culture Module aboard the Space Station helps study what is happening.
Ceramics: This Material Won't Melt Away
We all have items in our homes that are made of ceramics: dinner plates, floor tiles -- and toilets. And in the technical world, ceramics are used in electrical devices, fiber-optic cables, and even the space shuttle tiles.
A ceramic is strong and hard, but its best quality -- the most important to scientists -- is its high melting temperature, which allows engineers to use it in places where even metals would melt. At the laboratory at NAVSEA Carderock in Bethesda, Md., engineers are creating ceramics that will improve engine performance.
Chill Out: Tiny Refrigerator Saves Hubble Camera
The Hubble Space Telescope peers deep into the universe and sends breathtaking images back to Earth. But when its infrared camera, NICMOS, lost its supply of cooling liquid nitrogen the pictures stopped.
NASA turned to physicist Erin Pettyjohn and her team at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. They design and build very tiny refrigerators called cryocoolers. These little machines can cool things down to a very chilly 70 Kelvin. That's -203 C or -334 F!
Clean Chemistry: Decontamination Is Key to Toxic Spills
There are different ways to deal with a toxic chemical. You can neutralize it chemically, you can physically remove it, or you can try to capture it in another material.
Color Writing: Analyzing Fuel to Keep Jets Flying High
Using a process called chromatography (or color writing), chemists are able to break out all the components in a mixture. Dye makers use this technique to separate the different pigments in their dyes, but the process also is valuable in crime and environmental research.
Computer Vision: Teaching Machines to Recognize Images
Shown two photos of a person taken from different angles, most people will immediately recognize them as the same person. But it's not that easy for a computer because their brains are not as flexible as human brains.
Teaching computers to see more like humans is the job of Alan VanNevel and his team of scientists at a Navy Research Lab in Chino Lake. They've created some amazing pattern recognition programs - using math.
Dolphin Lifesavers pt. 1: Training for a Mission
It sounds risky - but it's not. Mines are designed to go off when ships bump into them, not dolphins, so these brave underwater explorers are the perfect helpers to protect our Navy crews from dangerous underwater explosives.
At the Navy's Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, California, these amazing animals are trained to find mines and then flag their location.
Dolphin Lifesavers pt. 2: How Dolphins see with Sound
In today's world of unmanned underwater vehicles, the bottlenose dolphin is still the Navy's best defense against dangerous underwater mines. The dolphins have a unique ability to find objects using their biological sonar, called echolocation. They produce clicks - and then listen for the echos as the sound bounces off objects. They can then figure out if the object is a fish or a ship or a mine. Scientists at the Navy's Marine Mammal Program in San Diego, California have developed a "biosonar monitoring tool" so they can study just how echolocation works.
Don't Sweat It: Scientists Are Protecting Soldiers at Any Temperature
Our troops go into all types of environments -- some very cold or hot -- to perform their missions. Scientists at an Army research lab in Natick, Mass., are studying the effects of extreme temperatures on volunteer subjects so they can figure out the best way to help soldiers endure challenging climates.