posted on December 04, 2013 17:19
Story and photo by Lieutenant Teng K. Ooi, PhD, USNA/UCLA/VPI/UAH and Missile Defense Agency
The Oceanography Department honors Midshipman First Class Claire Fletcher, winner of 2013 Oceanography Award, and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Volunteer Award.
These awards recognize Fletcher's superior scholastic academic achievements, servitude leadership and her demonstrated accomplishments in STEM research and education.
Fletcher volunteered at many STEM events at the Naval Academy which included giving tours of the STEM facilities, leading activity stations, assisting in event logistics and programming, sitting on panels for parents, children, and Naval Academy candidates and helping to teach STEM education to youth in USNA camps, on field trips, at youth conferences, and events that USNA STEM supports. She also participated in STEM-Oceanography supported events such as the Severe Weather In-Field Training (SWIFT), a tornado chasing and weather analysis internship and the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Programs research and training facility summer internship.
As an Oceanography major, Fletcher completed a project titled, “A Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Lesson Plan for Teaching Water Quality Concepts in China.” For this project, she researched environmental issues in China and STEM education methodologies and she designed an adaptable lesson plan suitable for classrooms in the U.S. and in China. Fletcher's work started during her First Class Fall semester spent abroad in Beijing. While going to school in China, Fletcher was also working in the environmental sector teaching environmental education and sustainability to Chinese youth, grades K-12, using both English and Chinese to lead events. Developing her research abroad, Fletcher gained support from the International Programs Office, Oceanography, Chinese, and STEM Departments as she created a multi-culturally adaptable environmental lesson plan on water quality. She translated the lesson and directives into Chinese, reviewed, theorized and tested STEM education methods and used her lesson plan in a Fifth Grade classroom at the Naval Academy Primary School, with STEM Department youth environmental events, and in her Chinese language classes. Her advisors for this research were Dr. Joseph Smith, CDR (Ret.) and Lieutenant Commander John Woods of the Naval Academy Oceanography Department.
Fletcher graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography and a Minor in Chinese. She is currently temporarily assigned to the Cyber Security Department at the Naval Academy, as she waits to report on board the USS Bon Homme Richard (LHD6), in Sasebo, Japan as a Surface Warfare Officer-Oceanography select. Fletcher will laterally transfer to become a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer after her first tour. She is looking forward to putting her degree to good use and hoping to continue her research in environmental sustainability and work with youth STEM and environmental education.
Fletcher received her awards during the 2013 Division Prizes and Awards Ceremony on 22 May in Mahan Hall. The STEM Volunteer Award was presented by Dr. Angela Moran, Odgers Professor for STEM and USNA STEM Director, and the Oceanography Award was presented by Dr. David Smith, Oceanography Department Chair.
Photo caption: Dr. Angela Moran, left, and LT Teng Ooi, right, present the STEM Volunteer Award to Midshipman First Class Claire Fletcher. Photo courtesy of LT Teng Ooi.