Home Common Ground Military-Based STEM Education Programs

Military-Based STEM Education Programs

Common Ground Partners offer a wide variety of programs which help educators boost student engagement and explore career fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Civil Air Patrol

As a non-profit auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, students participating in the Civil Air Patrol contribute to a real-life mission in service to the public. Cadet members of the West Virginia Wing learn about leadership, are immersed in aerospace education and mentored in physical fitness. Cadet experiences may lead to earning credit for promotion(s) if they decide to enlist into the military or a private pilot certificate.

Aerospace Education Member (AEM) Program For Educators

The Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Education Member (AEM) program is designed to support education in grades K-12. Educators who become members may use an online portal to request STEM kits with lesson plans which can be integrated into classroom instruction and kept by the school upon completion of activities. Teacher orientation program (TOP) flights are offered in aircraft stationed at local airports to educators who are members of the AEM program. AEM members may participate in one TOP Flight per fiscal year (1 Oct – 30 Sept) in powered or glider aircraft where available and as funding allows.

Patriot Guardens

This grant-funded program provides non-formal agricultural education and hands-on learning opportunities to veterans, active duty members of the military, and their families. Patriot Guardens is actively piloting partnerships with elementary, middle, and high schools in collaboration with the Future Leaders Program in Putnam County. Contact Melissa Stewart, Director of Patriot Guardens, at melissa.l.stewart22.nfg@army.mil.

West Virginia Army National Guard (WVARNG) Robotics Kits

The WVARNG’s Recruiting and Retention office has five recruiting sectors covering the entire state and each sector has a STEM Robotics Kit that they can brief educators on at the beginning of the school year. To learn more about this opportunity and request an educator brief, schools may contact MSG Derek Tilley at derek.l.tilley.mil@army.mil or 304-561-6389.

Air Force and Space Force Stem

The Air and Space STEM Outreach websites at https://dafstem.us and https://asfstem.nepris.com/offer information about the STEM to Sky Program, connecting educators with Airmen and Guardians for guest speaking encounters which inspire students to learn about their careers and passions surrounding STEM. Educators may view live events, sign up for their newsletter and request 1:1 classroom connections with professionals from the Air Force and Space Force.

Navy Stem Opportunities

Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pittsburgh, is seeking partnerships with high school educators in Barbour, Brooke, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Ritchie, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, and Wetzel counties and offers SeaPerch underwater robotics STEM kits on a limited basis. Educators interested in this activity may contact Samuel Lenhardt at 1-724-691-5651 or samuel.j.lenhardt.mil@us.navy.mil.

Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP)

The Army Educational Outreach Program strives to enhance STEM literacy by offering competitions, symposiums, and summer enrichment programs. The eCYBERMISSION initiative offers a student competition and mini-grants to qualifying educators.


This premier educational program engages students through an inquiry-based curriculum at a National Guard facility. The 25 hours of stimulating “hands-on, minds-on” activities in STEM are provided with the primary focus being fifth grade. There are two Department of Defense STARBASE sites located within West Virginia. STARBASE Martinsburg is located at the 167th Airlift Wing and STARBASE Charleston is located at the 130th Airlift Wing.

To inquire about opportunities to partner with the program, contact:

Department of Defense STEM

Visit the Department of Defense STEM website at https://dodstem.us

For a printable pdf of this information please see our Military-Based STEM Education Programs brochure.