What is STEM for Service?
STEM for Service is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a mission to improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) engagement for dependents and families in uniform service. STEM for Service serves as a resource for both the public school systems and the military services. Our nonprofit status helps us compete for public and private grants not ordinarily available to military services. Our linkages with the military can help school systems take advantage of technology and engagement opportunities not available to many school systems, especially Title 1 school systems that operate in low-income communities.
Our access to hundreds of engineering and science companies through trade organizations such as ACEC and SAME provide access to thousands of relatable, successful mentors and role models, especially among women and minority communities.The all volunteer military is dependent on the 1% of all American families that have members who serve. By improving STEM capability of military dependents we will expand the pool of STEM capable recruits in the military and military industrial base thereby improving the security of the nation, increasing the economic competitiveness of the nation while giving back to those that make our freedoms possible.
The story will sound very familiar; a person speaks to another about a need. That person gets engaged and that engagement becomes a passion that leads to the formation of a nonproﬁt dedicated to addressing that need. In 2018, an officer of the New Jersey National Guard (NJNG) approached Marshall with a challenge to organize a stand up STEM Day for an upcoming summer camp for military dependents.
As a father and grandfather to a National Guard family, it was game on. Marshall leveraged his networks to rapidly recruit support from the US Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, government contractors, a local fire department, and a hospital system to provide resources and staff to deliver a well-received program, and STEM for Service was born. Since that moment, STEM for Service has dedicated countless hours and resources to building networks to expand STEM education and infrastructure for families of uniform service.
Meet Our Founder
Marshall Robert, founder of STEM for Service (S4S), is a Professional Engineer, Professional Planner, Attorney, and owner of an engineering company. He founded S4S to improve STEM education opportunities for children of military families and first responders.
Studies consistently show that children from these families have lower education outcomes than their civilian peers due to the challenges public schools face in adapting to highly mobile students within a unique military culture.
Marshall lived this experience. As the son of an Air Force veteran, his family moved eight times before he graduated high school. He often attended public schools in low-income communities that were ill equipped to support itinerant students from differing cultures or provide consistent quality science education.
Despite this, Marshall was driven to become an engineer and took odd carpenter jobs to self-fund his engineering education. Once in professional practice, he recognized that environmental regulation was choking creative infrastructure design. He returned to night school to get a law degree. Using these new skills, he helped clients find pathways through overlapping regulations that enable creative design yielding high-value, sustainable results and winning multiple awards for US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Highway Administration and US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Throughout his career, he actively participated in professional societies to give back to engineering students living in low-income communities. Once elected to leadership positions, he improved delivery of these services through the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and HUBZone Contractors National Council.
Board of Advisors
Brigadier General Leon. L. Robert, Jr., Ph.D. USA (Ret.)
Professor Emeritus, United States Military Academy
LTC David Melendez
New Jersey Army National Guard, Commander Regional Training Center
LTC Brian K. Zdunowski
Maryland Army National Guard
Maj. Gregg.T. Zavadsky, MBA, SPHR
New York Army National Guard
LT E. M. Gonzalez, PE,
United States Coast Guard
Chief Operating Officer, Michael Baker International