As Director of STEM Programs at the National Center for Simulation (NCS) in Orlando Florida and a PhD candidate at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Melbourne Florida, Lindsey Spalding serves as a networking hub connecting educators, students, community members, and the High-Tech Modeling, Simulation, and Training (MS&T) STEM workforce. Collaborating with industry experts that span across government, department of defense, academia, and private industry, Lindsey works primarily with industry experts and K-14 educators and students to build and facilitate authentic integrated STEM learning opportunities designed to strengthen STEM teaching and learning practices. The goal is to provide a solid pipeline to grow stronger STEM students and a future workforce prepared to take on global challenges using MS&T. Industry accredited certifications are one way for STEM students and practitioners to demonstrate their understanding, and employability in a workforce of interest. Lindsey provides the pipeline support with many collaborators to get students from fifth grade to the MS&T workforce with the NCS M&S certification. NCS provides STEM learning programs for fifth graders through the STARBASE Central Florida program, which leads to the middle school GEMS (GAINS in Education of Math and Science) program which produces high school and college interns. Once students reach an elevated level of understanding and practice with the MS&T subject matter experts, they are prepared to join the M&S certification program for entry level professionals which is led by a workforce development education committee to engage, prepare, and support the future generation in joining the high-tech, high paying MS&T workforce.
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