Category Archives: Media Resources

AEOP Strategic Outreach Initiatives

Open Request for Information (RFI) for Partnership Opportunity with AEOP

 

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) through its cooperative agreement (COA) with Battelle is investigating new and innovative ways to form mutually beneficial relationships with likeminded organizations and technical associations that have similar STEM goals, specifically serving students from underserved populations and military dependents. In collaboration with STEM partners and by sharing information, leveraging strong STEM networks, and building on already existing relationships, AEOP intends to promote its portfolio of opportunities to better meet objectives, maximize impact, and provide more enriching STEM opportunities for students.

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AEOP Expands Community of Partners to Promote STEM Initiatives

Three additional partners awarded grants to increase diverse student participation in STEM

 

Columbus, OH — August 15, 2016 — The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), in collaboration with Battelle, has awarded grants to three organizations and institutions to expand student participation in enriching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exploration and learning, particularly for underserved students. AEOP offers students and teachers Army-sponsored programs that effectively engage, inspire and attract the next generation of STEM talent.

These second-round grant recipients will join a community of eight like-minded AEOP partner organizations awarded competitive grants in April 2016.

Through AEOP’s suite of programs, students from elementary school to college, representing all proficiency levels and ethnic, economic and academic backgrounds, participate in real-world experiences involving STEM disciplines. Scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians, who act as mentors and guides, introduce students to the various opportunities in STEM fields through hands-on experiences and provide advice for technical skill development and career planning.

“We’ve seen firsthand the power of partnering with strong local communities to provide even more students with high-quality STEM learning and mentorship,” said Jeffrey Singleton, Director of Basic Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology or ASA(ALT). “By further expanding AEOP’s network, we are able to ensure students from all backgrounds, particularly those from underserved and underrepresented communities, have the opportunity to engage in programs proven to help students develop knowledge and skills that prepare them for real-world careers.”

AEOP’s new partners were selected specifically for their leadership in STEM learning and outreach to African-American, Hispanic, female and military-connected students. Together with these partners, the Army seeks to enhance existing programs to provide the highest quality experiences and contribute to an exceptionally prepared workforce.

“Hands-on learning and career exploration opportunities allow students to develop a sense of possibility for their own futures,” said Aimee Kennedy, Vice President, Education, STEM Learning, & Philanthropy at Battelle. “For many students, these experiences are breaking down stereotypes of what STEM careers look like and how to pursue them.”

The grantees will each receive $50,000 awards to facilitate meaningful collaboration that will ultimately integrate with or enhance the suite of opportunities already offered by AEOP. Second-round recipients include:

Johns Hopkins University: Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and the Center for Educational Outreach (CEO) (Baltimore, Md.): HEMI conducts experiments to improve protection materials for the Army, models brain injury associated with sporting competitions and studies planetary impact. CEO operates 11 STEM programs which engage over 2,200 middle and high school students annually from underserved communities, and will combine with Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS). The partnership will also integrate REAP and Engineering Innovation into the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program and expand mentorship, competition and research opportunities for female and military-connected students.

Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at BGSU: The partnership will increase the number of underrepresented students participating in the Ohio Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (OJSHS) in March 2017, and beyond. NWO will recruit and train 30-60 underrepresented students and their teachers from Toledo Public, Lima City and Fostoria school districts with the purposes of engaging the students in scientific research and STEM studies.

Washington STEM (Seattle, Wash.): Washington STEM will leverage its ten-region STEM Network system to significantly expand and scale the AEOP eCYBERMISSION program across Washington for students and teachers.

About AEOP: The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school through graduate school, students at all levels, interests, ethnic, economic, and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in hands-on programs in STEM disciplines. More information is available at: www.usaeop.com.

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Army Programs Boost Students’ Interest in STEM

Survey demonstrates increased enthusiasm for STEM study and careers among students who complete Army Educational Outreach Programs

 

Columbus, OH — July 6, 2016 — Students reported a deeper interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) after completing one of the enrichment programs, competitions or apprenticeships sponsored by the U.S. Army. When compared to responses students provided at the start of the programs, evaluations conducted throughout the 2015 season of the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) demonstrated students had developed a clearer understanding of STEM careers, with many students expressing an increased interest in pursuing an advanced degree in a STEM subject.

The evaluation team at Purdue University’s College of Education conducted the research independently and prepared the rigorous report on behalf of Battelle Memorial Institute, AEOP partner and lead organization. AEOP relies on the valuable feedback in these evaluations to understand impact and make data-driven improvements to its programs.

“When we hear directly from students that these experiences improved their confidence and furthered their passion for STEM, we know we’ve done our job,” said Jeffrey Singleton, Director of Basic Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.  “It’s all about creating a cohesive portfolio of programs that stimulate and encourage young people in their pursuit of STEM education and careers.  We continue to work hard to offer these programs, which span from elementary grades through college, to more students.”

The need has never been greater for all students, particularly students from underserved communities, to develop STEM literacy. STEM jobs are growing faster than any other field, and more employers—within and outside of STEM fields—are requiring that candidates possess the skills gained through STEM study and exploration. In an increasingly global economy, students will need to apply these critical thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle our greatest challenges.

Through AEOP’s suite of programs, students from elementary school to college, representing all proficiency levels and ethnic, economic and academic backgrounds, participate in real-world experiences involving STEM disciplines. Scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians, who act as mentors and guides, introduce students to the various STEM opportunities within the Department of Defense through hands-on, project-based learning and provide advice for technical skill development and career planning.

All evaluation reports are available on the AEOP website. This year’s survey highlights include:

  • Over 75 percent of high school students who participated in AEOP’s UNITE pre-collegiate summer program reported large gains in 21st-century skills. Gains were significant for students from low-income communities.
  • After participating in the summer Research & Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP), high school “apprentices” studying with mentors at partner universities were more likely to aspire to a degree in STEM beyond a Bachelor’s degree. There was a ten percent jump in the number of students who indicated an interest in pursuing a Ph.D.
  • More than 80 percent of undergraduate College Qualified Leaders (CQL) found the experience rewarding enough to report they would participate again next year.

Part of AEOP’s model for success is its partnerships with academia, industry, not-for-profit organizations and other government agencies to engage, inspire and attract the next generation of STEM talent and expose them to Department of Defense STEM career opportunities.

“The success of AEOP is critically dependent on a strong academic and industry partnership—just as our research is critically dependent on a strong relationship with the Defense Industrial Base,” added Singleton.

In April 2016, AEOP, in collaboration with Battelle, awarded grants to eight organizations and technical associations to further expand student participation in enriching STEM exploration and learning, particularly for underserved students.

About AEOP: The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school through graduate school, students at all levels, interests, ethnic, economic, and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in hands-on programs in STEM disciplines. More information is available at: www.usaeop.com.

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AEOP Students Participate in White House Science Fair

Young innovators from Army-sponsored programs showcase science projects at White House

#WHScienceFair (1)Washington, DC — April 13, 2016 — The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) cheered on students from several AEOP-sponsored programs who are among the budding scientists and engineers presenting at the 6th Annual White House Science Fair today. Eight students who have furthered their exploration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in AEOP programs participated in the event hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The fair highlighted a variety of student projects and featured special exhibits encouraging youth interest in STEM.

Participating students represented the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) and eCYBERMISSION, all of which receive support from AEOP. AEOP students have been invited to attend the event since the inaugural science fair in 2010.

“Year after year, remarkable students from across the country impress us with their creativity, hard work and talent in science and engineering,” said Jeffrey Singleton, Director of Basic Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology or ASA(ALT). “Their potential and the importance of science literacy for students are why we continue to expand our programs. We’re thrilled that the White House has once again recognized students from the AEOP community.”

Nia Clements and Kaisa Crawford-Taylor represented JSHS. Clements was a Top Five Finalist in the 2016 Texas JSHS with her studies of gastric cancer cells and Eastern India Sandalwood Oil. Crawford-Taylor placed second in the 2016 Wisconsin-Upper Peninsula JSHS. Her project uncovers supermassive black hole binaries for gravitational wave study.

Prateek Dullur, Adarsh Mattu and Aditya Ramanchandran make up Team HydroPhysics of eCYBERMISSION. The team built an Anti-Flood Design to help prevent basements from flooding. The design uses super absorbent polymers to strengthen the seal and keep water from leaking.

This year marks the first year that a JSS team has been invited to participate. Kylah Cain-Ward, Destani Cullari and Adrianna Pusey and are members of the team, which placed first last year’s regional JSS competition.

“From my perspective as a mentor, I think it’s awesome how the girls and I turned ‘we can do this’ into actually doing it,” said Chrissandra Jackson, American University freshman and mentor to the JSS team. “It’s been an amazing experience to see how one small project grew into so many opportunities. They’ve surpassed my expectations—and I set the bar high.”

The annual White House Science Fair, now in its final run under President Obama, has helped draw important attention to the need for greater opportunities in STEM, particularly for underserved students, as well as the value of community partnerships in expanding access to meaningful science exploration for all youth. The fair also celebrates the innovation and teamwork at the core of STEM professions, much like AEOP programs themselves.

About AEOP: The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships, and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school through graduate school, students at all levels, interests, ethnic, economic, and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in hands-on programs in STEM disciplines. More information is available at: www.usaeop.com.

Hundreds of Students Complete Summer Science Internships in Leading Army and University Research Labs

Washington, DC — August 31, 2015 — This summer, the Army enabled hundreds of students to experience the reality of hands-on science in leading Army and university research labs. Through the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), high school students of all proficiency levels, interests, and social and economic backgrounds participated in real-world STEM experiences while engaging with Army-sponsored mentors.

The Research & Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) is a summer STEM program that places talented high school students, from groups historically under-represented and underserved in STEM, in research apprenticeships at area colleges and universities. One such project took place under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen M. Kuebler (Chemistry Department, University of Central Florida, Orlando). High schools students worked with Dr. Kuebler and his team to learn how an ion-selective electrode works and how it can be used to measure chemical concentration.

Aadit Vyas participated in the program over the summer. As a high school student, Vyas has already co-authored a conference proceeding on his research. He will pursue a degree in biomedical science and attend medical school. Vyas said, “I believe that the real lab experience I obtained through the REAP program will provide the skills and foundation I need to achieve my goals.”

Vyas’s mentor, Dr. Kuebler, appreciates having high school students in his lab. “REAP students bring fresh perspective and curiosity that adds vibrancy to our research,” he said. “As an educator, my primary goal is to support learning and the creation and dissemination of knowledge. REAP is helping to sustain and expand our nation’s resource of knowledgeable, inquisitive, and creative scientists and engineers.”

Alycia McEachen participated in AEOP’s High School Apprentice Program (HSAP) at Purdue University. This program, sponsored by the Army Research Office and AEOP, also provides high school students with an authentic science and engineering research experience alongside university researchers. McEachen evaluated how to optimize boron carbide ceramic suspension gels (CeraSGels) for robocasting using a 3D printer. Boron carbide and water volume percent were varied in order to achieve the desired compositions, then evaluated for yield stress, which dictates how well a formed piece will retain its shape. McEachen said, ”My experience in AEOP this summer was incredible. I got to spend time working on a real life problem in my interest field. I am so glad to have been able to work in Professor Trice’s research group!”

In addition to working in the lab, students in the HSAP program are exposed to a variety of career choices and guidance. For example, students in the program at the University of Miami toured the Dade County Medical Examiner’s office to learn about a possible career choice enabled with knowledge of chemistry. HSAP participants also attended seminars on the college application process. They learned to carry out literature searches and create scientific reports. The students prepared posters and shared their work with students in other summer programs, which teaches valuable written and oral communication skills.

About AEOP

Through the AEOP, thousands of additional students from elementary school through college engaged in hands-on STEM programs. AEOP’s STEM competitions exposed tens of thousands of additional students to scientific research methods and engineering principles in an interactive way.

The AEOP’s internship and apprenticeship opportunities are offered as summer programs. Students who would like to participate next year can visit www.usaeop.com and follow the link to learn about Programs. Details on competitive programs like eCybermission, Junior Solar Sprint, and the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium are also available under the Programs tab at the AEOP web site.

AEOP relies on the expertise, knowledge and input of educators, partners, mentors and other volunteers to ensure that all programs are complementary to classroom instruction and integration. Educators and volunteers are encouraged to read information under the Get Involved tab on the AEOP web site to learn how they (and their students) can participate in AEOP programs.

Learn about all AEOP opportunities at www.usaeop.com, at the Twitter handle @USAEOP and at www.facebook.com/goAEOP.

2015 Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) Media Resource Files

The 2015 National Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) competition will be held in conjunction with the national TSA conference, June 28 – July 2, 2015 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Junior Solar Sprint is an AEOP program administered by the Technology Student Association (TSA) on behalf of the Army.

Link to National JSS Winners Press Release:

National JSS Winners Press Release July 2015

Link to National JSS Press Release:

National JSS Press Release June 2015

Young Scientists Honored for Original STEM Research with Scholarships, Recognition, and Leadership Insights at National JSHS “Science Fair”

Washington, D.C. —  April 23, 2015 — More than 200 high school students will gather to share their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research findings and contend for undergraduate scholarships at one of the nation’s most prestigious science fairs, the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). The 53rd National JSHS, a culmination of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force’s annual STEM competition, is held April 29 – May 2 in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

The students are aspiring STEM leaders performing significant research that will impact every aspect of life. Topics range from research on alternative fuels, solving problems for learning-disabled siblings, and researching molecular and cellular interaction of cancer. Students are competing for recognition for their independent research accomplishments as well as a share of $375,000 in total scholarships. It’s a highly competitive process: students first presented original scientific research papers to a panel of practicing STEM professionals at regional symposia. Three winners at each of the 46 regional events received a scholarship and an invitation to participate in the National JSHS.

Students will present their research papers and posters to a team of national judges, individuals who are actively engaged in research and development at Department of Defense (DoD) and university

laboratories. Three winners in each category will earn additional scholarships ranging from $4,000 -$12,000. Competition categories include Environmental Science, Life Sciences, Medicine and Health/Behavioral Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Mathematics/Computer Science, Physical Sciences, and Chemistry.

“These students are an inspiration,” said Mary Miller, the official host of the 53rd National JSHS and them Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology. “Their drive to ask questions, to let their minds go beyond the accepted answers and willingness to challenge ideas when all around them just want to agree is a testament to the youth of America and our bright future. They understand that research is about asking questions and questioning the answers. It is looking at how things are done now and wondering if there is another or even better way. Every student here, along with many that didn’t make it this far in the competition, has made a difference in the world they will live in the world we live in. They remind us that there is so much left to learn, so much left to explore and discover.”

The JSHS is a Tri-Service program sponsored and organized by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force and administered by the Academy of Applied Science, a non-profit educational organization. The Army is spearheading the fifty-third year of JSHS. Through the Army Educational Outreach Program, it offers other STEM enrichment activities, competitions and apprenticeships designed to engage students and teachers in STEM.

At the National JSHS, research-oriented students will learn about opportunities in STEM within the DoD, academia, industry and government. They’ll hear from a Hand and Upper Extremity Reconstructive Surgeon at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a Colonel who manages the Air Force’s basic research investments and from the Executive Director at a Graduate School of Oceanography.

They’ll learn about additional DoD research areas and investments during a Reverse Science Fair and tours of several DoD research laboratories. “With the JSHS experience, students will be exposed to various STEM career opportunities and understand how their research might one day be applied,” said Miller. “The collaboration of the Army, Navy, Air Force and our academic partners provides some of the brightest STEM students in the country with an opportunity to meet others with similar interests and a chance to consider real-world application of their interests. It benefits the students and impacts the future of our nation.”

Recognizing the role that teachers and mentors play in the success of the students, JSHS also awards $500 to one teacher at each of the 46 regional symposia, honoring the teacher and school’s contributions to advancing student participation in research.

Winners of the 53rd  Annual National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium will be announced on May 2, 2015. National JSHS updates and announcements can be found on Twitter at the hashtag #JSHS15

About JSHS

The JSHS is a tri-service program funded by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force that encourages high school students to conduct original research in STEM. Sponsors include: Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology); Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA; and Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Washington, DC, in cooperation with higher education. The National JSHS Program is administered by the Academy of Applied Science, a non-profit educational organization located in Concord, New Hampshire. Details on the JSHS Regional and National events are available at http://www.jshs.org/.

About AEOP

The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students as well as teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school through graduate school, students of all proficiency levels, interests, ethnic, economic and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in real world experiences involving these important disciplines. More information is available at http://www.usaeop.com/ , at the Twitter handle @USAEOP and at www.facebook.com/goAEOP.

About AAS

The Academy of Applied Science (AAS) administers STEM programs where students apply scientific knowledge to life, research and inventions. Its programs spark creativity in young students, encourage the rising generation of teen mathematicians, scientists and engineers with recognition for their efforts, and provide scholarships and apprenticeships for high school students interested in pursuing careers in math, science and technology. Its influence, encouragement and assistance annually reach over 12,000 students nationwide. More information is available at http://www.aas-world.org.