Five months of planning exploded into a huge success at the Technology Needs Teens event hosted by Harford Community College May 28.

TNT, a new, one-day event designed to promote awareness of the positive attributes of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education was sponsored by HCC and Harford County Public Schools. Various industry/academia partners such as Science Applications International Corporation, Battelle, Booz Allen Hamilton, Survice Engineering, Towson University and government agencies including the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center, U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center also supported the event.

"When I first introduced this idea five months ago, I could never have anticipated the level of success we had," said Marlene Lieb, the TNT planning committee chairperson representing HCC. "Thanks to all of the cooperation, creative ideas and contributions made by each of you, the first TNT was an outstanding success."

Kim Hoffman, CERDEC lead career management specialist, said, "TNT was a rewarding day of reaching out to students, hoping to spark their interest in science. It also showed that research and development command laboratories pulling their forces could produce impressive results."

For their part, ECBC staff, who conducted three of the 11 presentations given by local industry, academia and government representatives, made a positive impression on 200 Harford County Middle School students and nearly a dozen faculty members/administrators.

Joseph Domanico, team leader of the ECBC Pyrotechnics Team, and chemical engineer Giancarlo Diviacchi demonstrated indoor pyrotechnics and smoke during their program, "What is Exothermicity'," while Michael Trzeciak, of the center's Advanced Design and Manufacturing Team, used Recon Robot (R2) to exhibit the capabilities of robotic chemical/radiological detection and offered hands-on experiences for students.

Representatives from the ECBC Kids & Chemistry Program, Sue Procell, Elaina Taylor and Jennifer Wolfe-Pupa, provided students with an opportunity to participate in experiments testing seven different chemical reactions with their "Chemical Reactions Sleuth" presentation.

"This is the best day I've had this year," one student said. "It was awesome seeing the different kinds of science stuff."

ECBC Technical Director Rick Decker took time out of his day to observe the presentations and provided closing comments highlighting the benefits of seeking education and careers in science and technology.

Other members of the TNT planning committee included Michel Parker and Lauren Manning from SAIC; John Casner, of the Northeastern Technology Council; Dennis Kirkwood, supervisor of science, and Mark Hertzog, assistant supervisor of science, from Harford County Public Schools; Procell, ECBC Kids & Chemistry; and Michael Galumbeck, a volunteer serving Harford Community College.