ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS, MD : "Someday you are going to make a difference." A group of Harford County high school students heard these encouraging words during the opening ceremony of a new Army STEM program at the APG Recreation Center ballroom Monday.The new two-week pilot program called Real World Internships in Science & Engineering (R.I.S.E.), is an internship opportunity for students who have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math but lack resources or inroads. R.I.S.E. interns will work with professional engineers and scientists on APG and receive practical, hands-on lab experiences in several STEM-related areas.Brig. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, APG senior mission commander and commanding general of U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command opened the ceremony with words of encouragement for the new interns and explained why programs like R.I.S.E are critical for the future."With technology changing so fast, you are learning how to solve problems that don't even exist yet," he said. "That's why it's our inherent responsibility to have opportunities like R.I.S.E. to help fuel your interest in STEM."Sixteen student applicants were selected among four Harford County high schools to participate in the program being hosted by CECOM and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development & Engineering Center (CERDEC)."We have to invest in our future," said Robert Zanzalari, associate director of CERDEC. "And ultimately, it is you, the students, who will make this program a success."The students completed in interest form and were matched with lab experiences based on preferences. Some of the areas the interns will be exposed to are cyber security software development, information assurance, mission command capabilities, battlefield simulation and virtual prototyping, just to name a few."STEM professions drive innovation and are vital for the future competitiveness of the U.S., said Larry Muzzelo, SES-director, CECOM Software Engineering Center."I ask all of you to take advantage of this unique opportunity," said Crawford. "No matter what career path you decide to take, if you work hard and focus on what you want to be, you can get there."