P-TECH students celebrate the end of school year at APG

By Rachel PonderJune 20, 2023

1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Alexander Windon, Adara Samuels and Erin Morrison, ninth-grade students in the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program at Joppatowne High School, stand with Garrett Shoemaker, the director of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command Software Engineering Center, after they presented their group robotics project to mentors and CECOM leadership.

(Photo Credit: Photo by Rachel Ponder)
3D printing
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Kemper Natt and Daniel Cornitcher, ninth-grade students in the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program at Joppatowne High School, look at a 3D printer as Michael Angus, with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center, looks on during a field trip to the installation.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Rachel Ponder, APG News)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — About 80 local students in the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program visited APG for a field trip to mark the end of the school year on May 25, 2023.

P-TECH is a STEM-focused magnet program offered at Joppatowne High School through a partnership with Harford Community College and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. P-TECH gives high school students a unique chance to earn an associate degree in cybersecurity or computer information systems at no cost while in high school.

Additionally, P-TECH students can gain real-world experience through paid internships and individualized mentoring.

Site tours 

In the morning, Army civilians, who mentor P-TECH students throughout the year, assisted the students as they got a “behind the scenes” visit to laboratories and worksites.

The freshman students visited the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, where they learned more about the testing that happens at APG for the “What is that Noise Tour.”

“We got to see the room where they test noise frequencies,” Kemper Natt, a P-TECH student, explained. Natt said she aspires to work as an Army Civilian in biology.

Sophomore students toured the CECOM Software Engineering Center, where they saw military vehicles and heard employees talk about their mission, equipment and what is required to obtain and keep a security clearance.

The junior students also visited the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory to view a supercomputer.

Group projects 

After the site visits, the students had a pizza lunch and played games at the Mallette Training Facility. Students also viewed an innovative 3D printing demonstration by the DEVCOM Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center. Mechanical engineer Michael Angus told the students that 3D printing technology has become more accessible and affordable.

“[The technology] is everywhere; you can get one [a 3D printer] for about 200 dollars,” Angus continued. “But you have to do a lot of the [the assembly] yourself.”

The ninth-grade students presented their group robotics project to CECOM leadership, including Liz Miranda, CECOM deputy to the commanding general; Garrett Shoemaker, the director of CECOM SEC and Pamela Delaine, CECOM G-1/Human Resources director. This project, where they were required to assemble a robot, was part of their P-TECH Fundamentals class.

Shoemaker said the P-TECH students have “a ton of potential.” He was impressed with their creativity, confidence and enthusiasm for their projects. Part of the project, he said, was to learn how to complete a task as a team.

“I asked all of them how they worked together, how they resolved conflict and they all learned different things that they could apply to real-world situations,” he said.

CECOM Chaplain (Col.) Brad Lewis told the students they all bring something special to the group.

“A team requires unique people in order to accomplish the bigger picture,” Lewis said. “Everyone has something they can offer; find out what that is and offer it with gusto.”

Ninth-grade student Alexander Windon wants to go into computer information systems. He said the first year of P-TECH teaches you time management by meeting project deadlines.

Ninth-grade student Adara Samuel said she wants a career in manufacturing and thanked the mentors for providing guidance and sharing their expertise.

“Shout out to our mentors,” she said. “We love them; we appreciate them.”

For more information about the P-TECH program, visit https://johs.ss18.sharpschool.com/p_t_e_c_h.

For more photos, visit:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/usagapg/albums/72177720309080680.