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Andrew Marsh looks on as Dillon Snyder, unravels a piece of wire during a visit to the Technology Integration Center. The length of wire represents one nanosecond, the time it takes for information to travel across the distance of the strand. Both are members of STEM at Buena High School

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- Twenty students from Buena High School toured the facilities of the Technology Integration Center (TIC) Nov. 30, 2010, at Fort Huachuca to gain a better understanding of the electronic components the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command (USAISEC) tests and fields for the Army and other Government agencies.

The students are second and third year members of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. These students have certain interests in technology, which is the reason they toured the facility.

"My students don't interact with engineers on a daily basis," said Mark Goldie, a math teacher and the STEM advisor at Buena. " To see an actual working lab, to see the engineering processes that they are using are the same as this group is using and that they could be actually doing this is kind of important."

The TIC tests and evaluates various types of information technology equipment in order to field the best and most reliable hardware for use in Government communication systems.

"It is critical to ensure that the equipment that we field to the Army and the DOD (Department of Defense) meets technical and performance standards so it works correctly in the field," said William Citera, TIC director.

The students toured four laboratories within the center. These labs test a variety of technologies ranging from wireless electronic components to computer systems. The intent of the tour was to show the students what the TIC does and to maintain the students' interest in engineering.

"It was an opportunity to connect with the community, to show them what we do here, to keep them excited about future careers in science, technology and engineering, and to know what types of opportunities there are to do that type of work for the Government," said Citera. "It's one thing for the students to study basic math and physics, but another to give them an opportunity to see how that's actually applied in the real world."

On the flip-side, Goldie said that he hoped the tour showcased future engineers to the TIC personnel.

"I hope our community outreach goes both ways," he said. "Believe it or not, this is a recruiting trip. I think it goes both ways in that direction."

STEM program students had the opportunity to view various types of electronics equipment, server areas and were able to pose questions to TIC engineers. Most students walked away from the tour saying they had learned a lot from the walk through.

"I hope to be an engineer when I get out of college, so I found it to be very useful," said Trey Goodwin, a STEM program student. "I've learned a lot more about this field. I want to make things faster and work out the bugs we have in things today."

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