Bank of America Excel New Bedford Initiative Enables Program to Grow

New Bedford, Massachusetts- With the intent to encourage the development of the next generation of scientists and engineers, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport has announced an expansion of their Educational Outreach Program in New Bedford Public Schools to provide students with real-world examples and challenges of science, math and engineering.

"We view our partnership with New Bedford schools as a commitment to be there for New Bedford students throughout the academic year, as well as in the summer, to enhance their educational experiences," said Dr. Paul Lefebvre, Technical Director of NUWC Newport. "This is an investment in students' education and future career paths. By showing real world career applications of science and engineering, we hope to encourage and inspire students to consider careers in these fields early enough to enroll in the classes they'll need to be successful."

NUWC Division Newport employees volunteer their time and knowledge to work alongside students in expanded after-school programs, summer internships, and science fairs. To provide support and ensure a successful partnership between NUWC Expanded Educational Outreach Program and the New Bedford Public Schools, Bank of America’s Excel New Bedford Initiative has permitted each NUWC program the assistance of a New Bedford teacher. Programs such as Engineering Club, Science Club, and MATHCOUNTS, not only allow students to interact with scientists and engineers on a regular basis, but also provide them with valuable hands on experience that can be applied to their educational curriculum throughout the school year.

“For New Bedford students these innovative programs are exciting, challenging and captures each students imagination, as few educational programs can. They create a true appreciation for wedding mathematics and science to practical engineering,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang. “We are fortunate to have such a strong partner in NUWC.”

NUWC’s Expanded Educational Outreach Programs in New Bedford include the following initiatives:

National Lab Day (May 12) - National Lab Day is more than just a day. It's a nationwide initiative to build local communities of support that will foster ongoing collaborations among volunteers, students and educators. Volunteers, university students, scientists, engineers, other STEM professionals and, more broadly, members of the community are working together with educators and students to bring discovery-based science experiences to students in grades K-12. NUWC will bring activities to classrooms at Keith, Normandin and Roosevelt. This event will take place for the first time in New Bedford on May 12, 2010.

The Engineering Club: Seaperch - An Office of Naval Research classroom initiative program that gives students the opportunity to build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called the Seaperch. Volunteers assist students in the engineering of the undersea vehicle while helping them understand the physics—buoyancy and electrical wiring—that go into its construction. This program was introduced in New Bedford on March 1, 2010. It currently takes place in at Keith Middle School with 20 student participants and 4 NUWC volunteers, at Normandin Middle School with 16 student participants and 3 NUWC volunteers and at Roosevelt Middle with 20 student participants and 4 NUWC volunteers.

Science Club - Science Club is a creative hands-on science and engineering program that allows elementary students to explore the scientific world in which they live, in an innovative and fun way. Some of the activities include; creating ice cream from scratch (an all time favorite among the students), making batteries out of lemons, and making “Oobleck.” (A mixture that is solid when sitting, but liquid upon touch.) This club was introduced in New Bedford on March 1, 2010. It currently meets at Gomes Elementary School with 16 student members and 3 NUWC volunteers and at Hayden-McFadden Elementary School with 18 student members and 4 NUWC volunteers.

MATHCOUNTS - MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement. Students participate in fun and challenging math programs and games that further improve their foundational understanding of science, math, and engineering. Currently in its 27th year, MATHCOUNTS is one of the nation’s largest and most successful education partnerships involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students. This program was introduced to New Bedford in November of 2009 and currently takes place at Keith Middle School with 16 student participants and 3 NUWC volunteers, at Normandin Middle School with 16 student participants and 3 NUWC volunteers and at Roosevelt Middle with 16 student participants and 3 NUWC volunteers.

Bring a Future Engineer to Work Day - Approximately 150 New Bedford High School students tour NUWCDIVNPT for a day, taking part in scientific and engineering demonstrations and special programs. This opportunity gives the students a better understanding of scientific and engineering careers and challenges. The tour is assisted by 40 NUWC volunteers and will take place for the first time in 2010.

Undersea Technology Apprentice Program (UTAP) - UTAP is a 4-weeks long summer session in which approximately 20 students work part-time alongside Division Newport scientists and engineers. This is a fun and rewarding program which gives volunteers the chance to mentor and build lasting relationships with students as they face real-world scientific and engineering projects in a hands-on manner. This program began in New Bedford in the summer of 2008. The Summer 2009 program included six 10th graders, eight 11th graders, and six 12th graders from New Bedford High School. This summers’ program is expected to host 20 New Bedford High School students with the assistance of 20 NUWC volunteers.


City of New Bedford 

Office of the Mayor 

Contact: Stephanie Poyant 

Office: (508) 979-1410 

Cell: 508-989-4407

Date: April 16, 2010 

For Immediate Release

Press Release Date: 
Friday, April 16, 2010