By Ms. Tracie Dean (ARL)November 27, 2013
More than 50 exhibitors from federal, state, and local agencies, business, industry, and academia as well as over 350 students, parents, and teachers were on hand Nov. 9 at Morgan State University for the university's first ever Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Careers, and Jobs Expo.
Steve Taulbee, an engineer in the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, was ARL's representative at the Expo that was held on the university's campus located in Baltimore, Md. Exhibitors showcased activities linked to STEM education, jobs, and careers. Interactive "hands-on, minds-on" activities were offered to engage students throughout the STEM Expo, which focused on "planting the seeds for successful STEM careers."
Serving as a representative for ARL, the research and development tenant community at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and the Army's Educational Outreach Program. Taulbee provided STEM Expo attendees with an exhibited demonstration of ARL advanced materials and armor technologies and distributed information to enhance visitors' understanding of the programs offered through AEOP, including eCYBERMISSION. He also took the opportunity to explain ARL's role in terms of providing underpinning technology for the Army and the Soldiers.
"The goal was to reach those who may not be familiar with the type of work we do here at ARL and emphasize the critical role we play in Warfighter capabilities and completion of the overall mission" explained Taulbee.
When asked about his impressions of the impact the STEM program has had on Morgan State University students, Taulbee responded, "Through the staging and participation of these types of events, support from academia, high school, and middle school level faculty and teachers have begun to generate a significant awareness of the effectiveness of this focus program." Taulbee went on to add "The STEM Expo will undoubtedly directly influence younger kids to enthusiastically pursue science, engineering and math educations."
Morgan State University faculty members attending the expo indicated that the STEM program has had a positive and significant impact on both the University's curriculum and its students, by strongly influencing students (freshman and sophomore) to pursue majors in the fields of math, science and engineering.
Another example of the effectiveness and success of Morgan State's STEM program could be seen by witnessing the number of Dunbar High School students in attendance. Dunbar, which is located in one of Baltimore's most underserved and underrepresented areas, historically has not experienced significant student participation in STEM related areas. As a result of this program, there is a clear uptrend and renewed interests by Dunbar students to pursue curriculums in these challenging academic areas.
U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, the honorary co-host for the event, emphasized ". . . the importance of developing a strong STEM workforce which starts at the pre-college level and continues through undergraduate and graduate school."
Another highly notably accomplishment of Morgan State was emphasized by Dr. David Wilson, President of the University, during his opening remarks to STEM Expo attendees.
Wilson enthusiastically celebrated Morgan State University's current standing ". . . as the leading producer of African-American Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering in the state of Maryland."
Expo organizers hope this successful event will lay a solid foundation and lead to an annual expo attracting greater numbers of students interested in pursuing STEM careers.
ARL is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command,
which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC
is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness-technology, acquisition
support, materiel development, logistics power projection and sustainment-to
the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a
Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates
with it, AMC provides it.