BALTIMORE -- "All cool technologies are made by scientists and engineers," said Gary Martin in his keynote address at the 2010 Maryland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at Morgan State University March 11.

With the goal of informing and promoting the importance of science, technology, engineering and math to an audience of local middle and high school students, Martin, Research, Development and Engineering Command executive deputy to the commanding general, referred to technologies like X-Box and the iPhone to help bridge the gap between familiar uses of science and technology to the behind-the-scenes day-to-day work of STEM professionals.

Martin joined Morgan State University STEM advocates, Dr. Carl White, the MSU's associate dean of the school of engineering and MDJSHS director, and Dr. Jerry Whitaker, Dean of the School of Computers, Mathematics and Natural Sciences as the keynote speaker for the kick off of the three-day event.

All three speakers shared similar sentiments with their audience; pursuing higher education in the STEM fields. Martin aided in dispelling some myths, and acknowledged that the next, "five to seven years ahead of you are challenging, but the end result is very rewarding." Martin explained that the engineering world post-college, is exciting, valuable and meaningful.

"It's exciting because you get the chance to do things you can't do in any other career field," Martin said. Martin talked about different technologies developed in government and industry that are cutting-edge, like unmanned aerial vehicles that are "hand-sized," and potentially in the future, will be developed to be even smaller.

For Martin, working in STEM for a U.S. Army organization is valuable and rewarding because his work benefits the Warfighter. "Our customer is the Soldier," he said. "It's meaningful because we work to make sure our Soldiers get home safely."

Martin closed his speech by encouraging the audience to "do well in school, set goals and work toward them, stay out of trouble, learn how to disconnect, and use your resources." Following the remarks, students split into groups to tour technology demonstrations and participate in classroom learning sessions.

Team members from RDECOM and other technical organizations are lining up to encourage students to consider careers in science, technology engineering and mathematics. The event will continue for the next two days.

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