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Posts Tagged outreach
By Amanda Rominiecki, CERDEC Public Affairs
During its second full academic year, the STEM Superstar program continues to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics to elementary students around Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center created the STEM Superstar program to engage Harford and Cecil County students from first through fifth grade in stimulating activities challenging students to think creatively and solve problems like an engineer.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Computer networks face persistent cyber threats from the nation’s adversaries. The future defenders of cyberspace, America’s students, honed their skills this summer as they learned from U.S. Army scientists and engineers who are experts in the field.
Cybersecurity practitioners from across the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command joined forces to spark an interest and share their knowledge with high-school students as part of the Army Educational Outreach Program at APG.
Two RDECOM organizations — Army Research Laboratory and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center — partnered to develop and deliver two Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Sciences cyber programs in July.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his iconic role as postal worker Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers,” is promoting manufacturing in the U.S.
His interest led him to visit Picatinny Arsenal Sept. 4, where he saw first-hand a number of the advanced manufacturing techniques the installation uses to equip the nation’s warfighters.
Ratzenberger’s interest in manufacturing previously inspired him to produce and host shows like “Made in America,” a Travel Channel TV production highlighting manufacturing companies that produce interesting products across the nation.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — So there was this high school student who just graduated this year who presented a paper at the Monmouth Junior Science Symposium that was so thorough with his independent research on nanotechnology that we just had to get him a personal invite to come and tour our labs. Seriously exciting.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Why stop at just getting students more interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics when we can get local teachers involved and excited as well? Well that’s just what we did and we’re quite pleased with the results.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Picatinny Arsenal and the New Jersey Institute of Technology coordinated a visit here for middle school girls to get them excited about careers in science and technology. How’d it go? You’ll have to find out yourself.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Local area high school students were invited to our “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” night. We like to think it went well.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army’s eCYBERMISSION program reported a record year in 2012 for science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach, officials announced.
eCYBERMISSION is one of several STEM efforts offered by the Army Educational Outreach Program. AEOP provides student opportunities from elementary school to college and includes STEM competitions, real-world research opportunities, summer programs, career fairs, teacher professional development, and student internships.
In the 2011-12 school year, 15,406 students and 690 team advisers participated, said Louie Lopez, STEM outreach program manager for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. Both figures are the largest in the program’s 10-year history.
RDECOM is the Army’s executive agent for the eCYBERMISSION program, a web-based STEM competition for sixth- through ninth-grade students, in which teams compete for awards while working to solve problems in their community. The program is designed to encourage students to become more actively engaged in STEM education.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Because of Aberdeen Proving Ground’s new role as the Army’s hub for science and technology, officials say the installation has the opportunity to become a national leader in science, technology, engineering and math education outreach.
The thousands of scientists and engineers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, or APG, should spur innovation as the Army promotes interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Patrick Baker, who recently assumed the newly created position of APG STEM Champion.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A recent college graduate moved from Texas to Maryland so he could work with the best scientists in the field of chemical defense.
Brandon Bruey, a chemist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said his position allows him the best opportunity to use classroom principles for real-world applications.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Were you building robots before you turned 16? A select number of students who participated in our summer educational outreach program did just that.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Eight high school robotics teams mentored by engineers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) competed March 31st to April 1st at the Mount Olive High School in some friendly robot basketball.
The teams participated in a competition called “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” (FIRST), which challenges student teams to design, build and compete against one another with…
By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs
BEL AIR, Md. — Eighth-grade students explored emerging global-mapping software and DNA extraction with U.S. Army scientists May 24 to boost their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM education.
The Army, technology manufacturers and universities joined about 180 eighth-graders from nine Harford County middle schools. The scientists showcased the array of career opportunities in STEM fields as part of the fifth annual Technology Needs Teens program at Harford Community College.
Lanie Wallace, a research biologist with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, led students through a hands-on demonstration of extracting DNA from a strawberry. She explained the range of applications for DNA research, including medical, pharmaceutical and agricultural.
Mary Doak, ECBC’s community and educational outreach manager, said the country needs students to pursue STEM careers because a large number of scientists and engineers are nearing retirement age.
At ECBC, 44 percent of employees are eligible for retirement within 10 years, Doak said. The Department of Defense has 35,000 scientists, 56 percent of whom can retire within eight years.
Wallace, who attended Edgewood middle and high schools, has started work on a doctorate degree, which is paid for by the DoD through the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship for Service Program.
Doak encouraged the students to pursue DoD-sponsored scholarships and internship programs, including SMART; Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Sciences, or GEMS; Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program, or SEAP; and eCYBERMISSION.
Matt Sparaco, a computer scientist with U.S. Army Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, demonstrated the Command and Control Multitouch Enabled Technology, or COMET, to Patterson Mill Middle School students.
The COMET is a large touchscreen computer that can be mounted vertically to a wall or set up horizontally like a table. Sparaco said CERDEC is developing software to track Soldier patrols, detect enemy fire and view damage from natural disasters.
Students explored the COMET by locating local landmarks using the mapping feature to create fictional scenarios.
Sparaco said researchers are also hoping to add facial-recognition software to allow Soldiers to take a photo with a smartphone or tablet and identify potential enemies. He said the Army plans to transition the software to flexible displays that Soldiers will wear on their uniforms during combat operations.
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — In the months preceding their annual events, planners for the 2012 Rutgers University and Monmouth University junior science symposiums had every reason to be concerned.
Students at both symposiums submitted 30 percent more papers than the previous year and were concerned that they would “steal” from the small pool of Picatinny reviewers and that one or both symposiums would fall short of meeting the total demand of 192 papers, each requiring a minimum of two reviews.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A married couple, both U.S. Army research biologists, is working together to improve Soldiers’ ability to detect, identify and protect against potentially lethal biological threat agents.
RESEARCH FOR IMPROVED PROTECTION
Jody and Mark Gostomski’s research at Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, or ECBC, helps the Soldier defend against hazards in the field.
Mark works with dangerous organisms in ECBC’s Biosafety Level 3,. or BSL-3, laboratory, which is one of 45 in the country. He dons sophisticated protective equipment in highly controlled lab conditions to prepare the Army for worst-case biowarfare scenarios.
“We’re dressed head to foot in a Tyvek suit. We have a powered air-purifying respirator,” he said. “Everything we do is double-gloved. BSL-3 organisms are live, and they are higher risk.
“A requirement for Biosafety Level 3 is at least the opportunity to be vaccinated against different organisms — hepatitis, anthrax, botulism.”
Mark is researching the validation of a DNA extraction kit that will replace two kits, which will help streamline the bio detection process.
Jody manages a project to supply genomic material for the Critical Reagents Program. Her role in CRP is to provide high-quality and validated reference materials for use in the development and optimization of biological-detection technologies.
She plans laboratory activities, conducts quality control analysis on the material, and interacts with external agencies.
“It shows how collaboration among members of different branches really comes together and makes for a better product for the customer. For this project, we grow and isolate materials in the laboratory, at both the Biosafety Levels 2 and 3,” she said.
FOCUSED ON THE SOLDIER
Mark and Jody say that while they are focused on their daily research in the laboratory, it is imperative to remember the end-users — Soldiers.
“It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. We do our job, and a lot of times we don’t think about who it impacts,” Mark said. “The work we do is ultimately for the Soldier.”
“The project I’m working on will help the Soldiers rapidly identify biothreat agents using the Joint Biological Agent Identification and Identification System,” he said. “They can find a sample in the field [and] process it through this kit in a matter of minutes. Within an hour, they have their data.”
Jody echoed Mark’s focus on empowering and protecting the Soldiers and Army civilians who will rely on the equipment’s scientific foundation during a mission. She helped train members of the 20th Support Command and CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives) Analytical and Remediation Activity.
“It’s easy to forget how your job impacts the warfighter,” Jody said. “When you’re in the lab in your own little space, it’s hard to see how that has a profound impact on the overall mission.
“I’ve had the opportunity to train mobile-lab users who go into the field. They may or may not be Soldiers, but they’re on a mission to collect samples and ultimately protect against any type of biowarfare agent.”
Jody said the opportunity to interact with end-users has expanded her understanding of the mission.
“I got to step outside of my laboratory setting and take the expertise and knowledge that I learned by working with these biological platforms [to] stand in front of a room of physical scientists and show them how to use these technologies,” she said.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP
The couple met in 2004 when Jody joined ECBC after graduating with a bachelor of science in biology from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. They both work for the BioSensors Branch within the BioSciences Division.
Jody said that Mark served as one of her mentors. He started working for ECBC 13 years ago while attending Towson University; he graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of science in biology.
“We really got to know each other throughout the course of five years of working together. We built a very strong friendship, both inside and outside of work,” Jody said.
They married in May 2011.
“What I really like about working with Mark is the reason that he and I became such good friends before we got married,” Jody said. “He is just a great sounding board. He is always the person I would go to when I had issues in the laboratory.
“If I had questions or needed help troubleshooting something, he was always my go-to guy. He always resolved my problems.”
INVESTIGATING SCIENCE OUTSIDE CLASSROOM
Jody and Mark encourage young students to explore science outside the classroom to see whether it would be a strong career fit. They are both studying for master’s degrees in biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University.
“As I got to college and had more experience in the laboratory, it was interesting to take what you were learning in the textbook and see that come to life through experiments in the laboratory,” Jody said. “I liked how hands-on it could be.
“If you have an interest in a science or engineering field, take every opportunity to become as exposed to those fields as you can with an internship at the college level or a shadowing experience in high school. Do something to get away from the textbook and actually get into the field where they’re using the technologies that you’re learning about,” she added.
BALTIMORE — The inquisitive minds of about 300 local students examined, inspected and explored the science and engineering that supports U.S. Army Soldiers.
During the Innovative STEM Conference, the 2012 Maryland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium’s first event over three days, Aberdeen Proving Ground research and development organizations displayed their contributions to America’s Soldiers.
Morgan State University hosted the expo March 8 at its Hill Field House.
Carl White, associate dean of MSU’s School of Engineering, said the event is an important step in showing students how their academic achievement is critical to the country’s future.
“It’s really important for these kids to understand that the future of the country relies on them. Technology is what drives our country,” White said. “For us to be on the top and be competitive, we have to get these kids engaged early in math, science and engineering.”
White said that MSU invests heavily in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, outreach efforts in 12 Baltimore high schools through after-school programs and mentoring.
Army scientists showed students how they use the principles in STEM courses — math, physics, biology, chemistry, computer science — to design, build and test everything that Soldiers will need for a mission. They displayed protective masks and vests, helmets, armor, night-vision devices, power sources and battery chargers.
Lt. Col. Quentin Smith, with U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, leads a project for network modernization. He said the military will depend on today’s students to build future high-tech equipment for America’s defense.
“The Army has to invest in science and technology,” Smith said. “We have to invest in the education of our young people to pursue these technical professions because our future relies on it.
“To be able to build out the new network architecture and have the force of the future, it’s primarily dependent on the younger generation having a passion for mathematics and science to develop and mature the technologies that are going to be required.”
Joseph Bryant, a senior at Reginald F. Lewis High School of Business and Law in Baltimore, plans to study business management at Coppin State University or enlist in the Army.
“I’ve learned that math and science apply to everything in life. It applies to the Army. It applies to getting a job in the future. It applies to everything you could ever do,” Bryant said.
White said he hoped to demonstrate to students that while they are the consumers of today’s electronics, cell phones and computers, they can be the technology innovators of tomorrow by pursuing STEM fields.
“The benefit of this is to expose [students] early to all the different types of technology. It’s to let them interact and engage, touch and feel the technology,” White said. “They can understand that one day they can be the inventors, engineers, mathematicians or scientists that produce this technology.”
Army exhibitors at the expo included eCYBERMISSION, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Army Research Laboratory, CERDEC, Aberdeen Test Center and APG Veterinary Clinic.
WASHINGTON — Seven ninth-graders from the U.S. Army’s eCYBERMISSION program converged Feb. 6-7 to showcase their budding scientific curiosity for President Obama.
“The young people I met today, the young people behind me — you guys inspire me,” Obama said, according to whitehouse.gov. “It’s young people like you that make me so confident that America’s best days are still to come.”
About 100 students from across the country displayed their research at the second White House Science Fair as part of the president’s initiatives to improve America’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics performance. Obama hosted the first fair in late 2010.
REGIONAL WINNERS HEAD TO NATION’S CAPITAL
Regional winners Team Charger 4 from Providence Day School in Charlotte, N.C., and Team Dr. MED from the STEM Academy at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio anxiously prepared their exhibits Feb. 6 in the East Room.
Emily Ashkin, Matthew Howard and Alexander Roupas comprise Team Charger 4. Jocelyn Hernandez, Ricardo Rodriguez, Nathaly Salazar and Carlos Zapata make up Team Dr. MED.
“I thought my teacher was kidding. I immediately started crying because it’s such an honor to be here. My exact thoughts were, ‘I’m stepping where the president has stepped,’ ” said Ashkin, explaining her reaction to the White House invitation. She is planning a career in medical research.
STUDENTS AIM TO IMPROVE THEIR COMMUNITIES
eCYBERMISSION is a free, Web-based STEM competition for sixth- through ninth-graders where teams compete for state, regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their community. The U.S. Army sponsors the competition.
Students identifying a scientific problem and researching a solution are core aspects of eCYBERMISSION.
Salazar, who hopes to become a neurosurgeon, and her teammates investigated the improper disposal of medications in San Antonio.
“Our project was about the disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals and how it affects our environment,” Salazar said. “We need to promote public awareness to prevent this from hurting future generations and our environment.”
The team concluded that the introduction of pharmaceuticals have an impact on the pH, alkalinity, hardness, nitrites and nitrates in water sources, resulting in negative implications for the ecology of Edwards Aquifer.
“I have learned that anyone can make a difference in our nation,” said Hernandez, who plans a career in biomedical advocacy. “We have science, technology, engineering and math subjects to give us the opportunity to solve the problems in our communities.”
Team Charger 4 created an inexpensive and easily accessible way to improve unsanitary water conditions in underdeveloped countries. The team concocted a solution of unsanitary water to test a water purification system using reverse osmosis.
“It’s our national duty to forge ahead in STEM education. It’s an honor to be a part of this program,” Ashkin said.
ARMY ADVOCATES STEM EDUCATION
Jeff Singleton, the director of basic research, lab management and educational outreach for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, hosted the students with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Singleton lauded the eCYBERMISSION participants for their commitment to STEM education.
“What are the strengths of the nation? It’s always been ingenuity. Math and science are big drivers behind that,” Singleton said. “Where do you create new products? How do you create new ideas?”
The nation depends on aspiring, talented scientists and engineers to continue the work of previous generations, Singleton said.
“We focus on our educational outreach activities to help build this talent pool,” Singleton said. “We want our homegrown talent to be capable to provide for the next generations. It’s important to the president; that’s why he’s holding this science fair at the White House.”
PRESIDENT RECOGNIZES STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENTS
Obama said that a robust STEM workforce is vital to continuing America’s role as a technical innovator, as well as the country’s economic future.
“When students excel in math and science, they help America compete for the jobs and industries of the future. That’s why I’m proud to celebrate outstanding students at the White House Science Fair, and to announce new steps my administration and its partners are taking to help more young people succeed in these critical subjects,” Obama said.
Gary Martin, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command executive deputy to the commanding general, speaks during the Futures 11 conference March 24 at Harford Technical High School.
BEL AIR, Md. — The future of Harford County gathered March 24 at Harford Technical High School to explore their education and careers.
About 800 high-achieving 11th-grade students from Harford Technical, Joppatowne, Aberdeen, Bel Air and Edgewood high schools attended the Futures 11 conference to prepare for the next phase of their lives.
For more, go to http://go.usa.gov/2ZZ
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Sept. 29, 2010) – The U.S. Army continued to expand its relationships with institutions of higher education by signing an agreement with the University of Maryland here Sept. 28.
Leaders from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the university entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, at the school’s Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.
Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, RDECOM commanding general, told an audience of about 150 university leaders, professors and staff, Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets and instructors, state officials and leaders from Army research centers that education is key to the success of the Army and the nation.
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — The battle lines were drawn. The teams were ready. Four motors lay silent waiting.
Dr. Jay Lilley, chief of the propulsion technology function at Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, masterminded a competition called Rocket Wars.
In its second year, Rocket Wars teams were comprised of summer hire students from Purdue University, Tuskegee University, Vanderbilt University, Lee University, Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama-Huntsville, and Guntersville High School.