AFRL and MEDB STEM Outreach Programs Inspire Teachers & Students

Dr. Stacie Williams

Dr. Stacie Williams

Dr. Stacie Williams, a leading scientist and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) outreach educator in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy group on Maui, has accepted a position with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research near Washington DC. During her seven years here, Williams has skillfully juggled a myriad of professional responsibilities in a challenging environment. She led several technical efforts in the areas of imagery, spectroscopy and lasers and has been the manager for AFRL’s daylight and geosynchronous earth orbit imaging programs. As the AFRL group’s STEM outreach director, Williams’ leadership was instrumental in developing a program that annually reaches more than 1,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students and teachers, and influences all 34 Maui County public schools. The program includes teacher development workshops, a STEM curriculum lending library, and opportunities for summer students. “It’s important to show our youth that science can be engaging and that they don’t have to leave Maui to work in high-technology jobs,” said Williams.

“Since 2009, Williams has been a leading advocate in securing Air Force funds to supplement Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology project STEM outreach programs,” said Mapu Quitazol, MEDB project manager. “She has also provided insights on high quality laboratory sets that are available for teachers to borrow from our STEM lending library. We will greatly miss her and her leadership in STEM outreach!”

Williams is featured in the film Maui in Space produced by MEDB with support from the County of Maui. Along with other AFRL officials and with researchers from the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy, the film introduces the importance of astronomy on Maui. “The video, an extraordinary educational tool, shows how our basic everyday needs require space-related functions and Maui’s important contributions to it,” said Williams. “Our goal, along with MEDB, is to continue to educate teachers and inspire students to explore the STEM fields for Hawaii’s future.”

“Working for the Air Force as a scientist is an honor,” Williams added. “I believe the AFRL and MEDB STEM programs will have a far-reaching impact on the future of our youth. I will miss Maui!”

By developing STEM programs for our youth, AFRL and MEDB are working together toward engaging Maui students at an early stage to use technology for improving Hawaii’s future.

Dr. Stacie Williams, AFRL Scientist and Outreach Education Director

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