By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public AffairsNovember 9, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - More than 150 local high school students visited Redstone Arsenal Nov. 9 for the 16th annual Adventures in Engineering Day.
Aimed at high school juniors, the purpose of this event is to promote science and engineering disciplines as a career choice. It offers students an opportunity to observe what engineers do on a daily basis, providing them with hands-on knowledge and encouraging their pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, fields.
"This is an opportunity for local high school students to see some of the technology that we work on here at Redstone Arsenal," said William Colson, director, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Technical Center. "When they are in their classrooms learning math, science and other STEM-related materials, they sometimes don't necessarily understand how it applies in the real world. This is a great chance for them to get some hands-on experience and see the cool technologies that we work on here."
Participating in Adventures in Engineering were students from the following local schools; Holly Pond High School, Whitesburg Christian Academy, Fayetteville High School, Hartselle High School, North Alabama Friends School, Huntsville High School, Russellville High School, Columbia High School, Grissom High School and New Century Technology High School.
"The students have really been engaged," said Nancy Wolfe, New Century Technical High School counselor. "They don't have a lot of experience on the arsenal so seeing the different options in the STEM field here is an opportunity to understand more about various scientific fields available."
After beginning the day at Calhoun Community College's Huntsville campus, students visited a multitude of organizations to participate in a variety of demonstrations and speak to employees working in STEM fields.
The students were taken to several organizations on Redstone Arsenal, including USASMDC/ARSTRAT, the U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, Software Engineering Directorate, AMRDEC Prototype Integration Facility, Missile and Space Intelligence Center and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
At SMDC, students visited the Concept Analysis Laboratory, where they witnessed several ongoing test programs and learned about various school and employment programs available.
They also visited SMDC's Simulation Center to learn about cyber security, defensive security and operational capabilities of the command.
"I learned a lot about career opportunities," said Ethan Yeuell, a New Century Technology High School junior. "Seeing what people in the Army do really helps. You can look at the descriptions online but without seeing them in their work environment, it is really hard to know what they actually do.
"I am interested in getting to know more about what the Army does with aerospace technology as well as its cybersecurity and computer science fields during my time here," he added.
Adventures in Engineering Day is hosted by the Air Space and Missile Defense Association, the National Defense Industrial Association and Calhoun Community College.
"I like it here," said Courtney Farrar, a New Century Technology High School junior. "I like the opportunity to see all the demonstrations we witnessed and the training available to broaden our careers. Seeing all the cybersecurity certificates and training was impressive.
"I came today to expand my horizons," she added. "I am grateful to be here and to be able to see what career paths I can take in the future."