Applying STEM
ECBC Physicist Keith Fung shows a group of Cecil County math teachers the Robot Recon and how the CenterAca,!a,,cs engineers apply mathematical concepts to develop this combination of robotics and electronic detectors.

The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center recently hosted 100 Cecil County Public Schools secondary math teachers providing them a professional development opportunity.

During "Math Quest", a one-day teacher professional development program supported by the National Defense Education Program, some of the Center's workforce members exhibited their workplace and demonstrated the mathematical approaches they use in their every day jobs.

With the objective to foster a highly skilled science, technology, engineering and math workforce, ECBC's Community and Educational Outreach Program encourages the development of STEM educators and builds a strong relationship between their efforts and ECBC's occupational needs.

"One of our major goals is to provide STEM educators in the community with insight into a Department of Defense organization to enhance the knowledge transfer in subjects like math," said ECBC Community and Educational Outreach Program Manager Mary Doak.

"We assist teachers with illustrating the relevance of math to students by showing them how the Center's workforce applies math concepts to solve real-world problems.
Supported by NDEP, ECBC aims to bring the excitement of STEM careers into the classrooms within and beyond its community," she added.

While immersed in the working environment of the nation's premier resource for chemical and biological defense, CCPS teachers toured the Aerosol Sciences and the Advanced Design and Manufacturing (ADM) facilities. Addressing the correlation between math and science, more than 20 ECBC scientists and engineers gave presentations of projects they have worked on to protect the warfighter and the homeland and highlighted the different areas of math they applied to produce cutting-edge technologies.

Two of ECBC's chemists, Julius Owens and Jerry Cabalo, provided teachers with a wide range of examples where the application of math concepts is essential to successfully accomplish their mission responsibilities. "As an analytical chemist at ECBC, I use my math as well as my analytical skills," said Owens who worked as a math teacher in the past and serves as a mentor for middle school students today. "For example, we use quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify types and amounts of chemical species and then return accurate results to different organizations throughout the world."

Additional presentation topics included Aerosol Applications in Chemical Biological Defense, Joint Services Aircrew Mask, ECBC Mobile Lab Design for the 20th Support Command and Weapons of Mass Destruction Aerial Collection System Aca,!aEURc a Defense Threat Reduction Agency-based program.

"Our teachers really liked the ADM," said CCPS Math Program Facilitator Cynthia Vanella. "It was very interesting and helped them make the connection to the real-world. They would also like to give their students the opportunity to tour ECBC to see a variety of fun STEM career options first hand."

Visiting the Center's facilities and interacting with its workforce enabled CCPS teachers to understand the nature of ECBC's working environment and to take some ideas from this experience back to the classroom.

"ECBC presentations were relevant and non-threatening," said CCPS Math Coordinator Georgia Wensell. "Presenters were able to describe their work in layman's terms and relate how numerous math applications are used to support the exciting projects at ECBC."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16