NATICK, Mass. – The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, or DEVCOM SC, recently participated in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Exploration Open House hosted by the Rhode Island National Guard. The open house was held at the Quonset National Guard Base in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Lt. Col. Alyce Pagliarini of the Rhode Island National Guard served as the event’s primary outreach coordinator for all exhibits.
“The Rhode Island National Guard STEM Innovation Day welcomed over 400 STEM students from across the state,” said Pagliarini. “The event provided an opportunity to engage with over 40 exhibitors — which included business, academic, and military entities. Each exhibit allowed for an interactive experience, encouraging curiosity and exploration while inspiring creativity.”
DEVCOM SC’s participation in the event reflected the organization’s overall commitment to promoting STEM outreach and mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers.
The Soldier Center’s displays included a sensor-based Soldier performance prediction tool called RAMP-UP; Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR) capabilities; neurostimulation for performance enhancement capabilities; several Human Augmentation Systems (HAS), including exoskeletons and the Dephy ExoBoot; Black Hornet 3 (BH3) small unmanned aerial system (sUAS); blunt impact technologies; Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs); T-11 Reserve Parachute; T-11 Cargo/Caster Assisted Door Bundle System; powered paraglider gear; helmets and body armor.
Yoojeong Kim, Ph.D., serves as the lead for DEVCOM SC’s Innovation & Outreach Team. Kim believes the event was an important opportunity to spark interest in cutting-edge technologies and for students to learn more about STEM career opportunities (civilian and military) in the Department of Defense, as well as the private sector and academia.
“Students had the opportunity to see and interact with exciting new technologies that are being developed in military organizations, including the Soldier Center, and how the new technologies can impact and improve Soldiers’ lives,” said Kim. “Hopefully, they will be inspired by the technologies and will pursue careers in the military or in other STEM career fields.”
Brady Loomer, DEVCOM SC’s STEM lead coordinator, believes the event was an important opportunity to stimulate student interest not only in STEM careers but in all roles supporting DEVCOM SC’s mission.
“STEM has the power to inspire even those students that are not interested in being a scientist or an engineer,” said Loomer. “Innovating the future requires all sorts of minds and skills. If students can realize the outsized impact of the work that is happening at Soldier Center, hopefully, they will want to become a part of that mission.”
About DEVCOM Soldier Center: The DEVCOM Soldier Center is committed to discovering, developing, and advancing science and technology solutions that ensure America’s warfighters are optimized, protected, and lethal. DEVCOM Soldier Center supports all of the Army's Modernization efforts, with the Soldier Lethality and Synthetic Training Environment Cross Functional Teams being the DEVCOM Soldier Center’s chief areas of focus. The center’s science and engineering expertise are combined with collaborations with industry, DOD, and academia to advance Soldier and squad performance. The center supports the Army as it transforms from being adaptive to driving innovation to support a Multi-Domain Operations Capable Force of 2028 and a MDO Ready Force of 2035. DEVCOM Soldier Center is constantly working to strengthen Soldiers’ performance to increase readiness and support for warfighters who are organized, trained, and equipped for prompt and sustainable ground combat.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) outreach and mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers are also an important part of the mission of DEVCOM Soldier Center. The mentoring of students by Army scientists and engineers benefits the students and their communities. It also increases young people's awareness of potential Army job opportunities and helps provide the Army with potential new talent, helping to fuel innovative ideas that benefit the nation's warfighters and the nation as a whole.
DEVCOM Soldier Center is part of DEVCOM. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.