By TRACY NEWMAN AND JUSTINE SMITH, ECBCJuly 24, 2009
While planning his presentation for students enrolled in the geospatial intelligence class given as part of the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Program at Joppatowne High School, Chris Gaughan had one goal - keep it entertaining.
Continuing the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center tradition of providing educational outreach to Harford County schools, Gaughan discussed how he built a successful career as an electrical engineer at ECBC.
"[My goal was] to provide an entertaining story about how an electrical engineer ended up working at a place called the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, what it took to get there and where you can go if interested," Gaughan told the students studying the program's Communications and Information Technology strand.
The HSEP-JHS program is the nation's first to provide high school students with career skills and technological expertise in the areas of information and communication technology; law enforcement and criminal justice; and homeland security sciences. Gaughan and Chris Carr, an information technology consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, talked about their respective employment paths during the student's career exploration unit June 5.
At the conclusion of his presentation, it appeared as though Gaughan had achieved his goal.
"He was a cool speaker and basically connected with us," said Josh Clark, an 11th-grade student at HSEP-JHS.
Gaughan's message and the story of how the electrical engineer found himself successfully working side-by-side among researchers at ECBC wasn't lost on the educators in the room either.
"He was full of energy. He kept the students fully engaged and thinking for a long time," said Jackie Smith, an information technology and environmental teacher. "The students truly related with him."