• ECBC chemical engineer, Mark Ciampaglio (left) shows students how to create batteries out of lemons during STEM and Beyond Night at Bel Air Middle School Feb. 21.

    Army supports STEM and Beyond Night

    ECBC chemical engineer, Mark Ciampaglio (left) shows students how to create batteries out of lemons during STEM and Beyond Night at Bel Air Middle School Feb. 21.

  • Students control a robot at the RDECOM STEM Outreach exhibit during the STEM and Beyond Night held at Bel Air Middle School on Feb. 21.

    Army supports STEM and Beyond Night

    Students control a robot at the RDECOM STEM Outreach exhibit during the STEM and Beyond Night held at Bel Air Middle School on Feb. 21.

  • ECBC scientists help students discover hidden information in DNA during the STEM and Beyond Night held at Bel Air Middle School on Feb. 21.

    Army supports STEM and Beyond Night

    ECBC scientists help students discover hidden information in DNA during the STEM and Beyond Night held at Bel Air Middle School on Feb. 21.

  • Students build a tower using spaghetti and marshmallows during the STEM and Beyond Night held at Bel Air Middle School on Feb. 21.  The goal is to use engineering principles to create the tallest standing structure.

    Army supports STEM and Beyond Night

    Students build a tower using spaghetti and marshmallows during the STEM and Beyond Night held at Bel Air Middle School on Feb. 21. The goal is to use engineering principles to create the tallest standing structure.

BEL AIR, Md. -- In one classroom, students made batteries out of lemons. In another they performed scientific tests to see whether their eco-system was healthy -- with earthworms.

More than 250 students, 40 to 50 siblings and 200 parents converged on Bel Air Middle School Feb. 21 to take part in STEM and Beyond Night with 30 hands-on demonstrations and 20 exhibits.

The Northeastern Maryland Technology Council initiated the STEM and Beyond Nights in Harford and Cecil counties.

Diane Lane, vice president for student services and institutional effectiveness for Cecil College, said NMTC, with Aberdeen Proving Ground, organized a STEM Summit composed of government, industry, and education professionals. Lane serves as chairwoman of the NMTC STEM Summit Pipeline committee.

"Since January 2012 this committee has organized and launched 10 STEM and Beyond Nights," she said. "Over those 10 nights, 1,560 students in grades 4, 5, and 6 have attended and been accompanied by approximately 2,250 family members. Additionally, 400 seventh-grade students have acted as STEM ambassadors for their middle school."

"Over a three-year rotation every middle school in Harford and Cecil County will be a host site for the STEM and Beyond Night," Lane said.

Louie Lopez, chief of STEM and Education Outreach for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at APG, said the STEM and Beyond Nights are important to the region.

"We've been doing this for the past couple of years in support of the regional effort here in STEM," Lopez said. "Tenant organizations at APG are very much involved in every one of these STEM and Beyond Nights, providing exhibits, providing demonstrations, different science and technology capabilities, [having] scientists and engineers engaged with the students and teachers."

Mary Doak is the program manager for Community and Education Outreach at RDECOM's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.

"It's important to give [the students] an opportunity to see the technologies that the Army has to offer," she said, "and to be able to explore some of the challenges that we have by doing these experiments during the STEM nights.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for not only the students but the parents alike. I had one parent just say to me, 'This is inspiring me now to bring out some of my old science kits,' " Doak said. "So, I think it's going to help parents to continue working with their students at home."

Lopez feels it is important to promote the Army Educational Outreach Program at the regional events.

"When we have exhibits here as well as demonstrations, we talk about the different STEM opportunities within the Army such as eCYBERMISSION, Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, as well as the Junior Solar Sprint," Lopez said. "So, this is really a well-coordinated program in the region. It's a collaborative effort between Harford County, Cecil County, the community colleges, as well as industry and the folks at APG. So, we're very proud to be part of this effort."

Page last updated Fri March 1st, 2013 at 00:00