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College Students Present Ready, Set, STEM Program to Middle School Students

Release Date: 3/22/2013

CONTACT: Sylvia Blair
Executive Assistant to the President
Carroll Community College

Carroll Community College Students Present Ready, Set, STEM Program to Middle School Students

Westminster, Md., — Carroll Community College (Carroll) students, along with faculty and staff members, will generate excitement about STEM by engaging Shiloh Middle School (Shiloh) students in a morning of interactive activities.

Carroll students will work with well over 200 students in more than 13 classrooms on April 12, 2013 from 8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Carroll students will rotate every 30 minutes to work with a new group. Shiloh students will benefit from the expertise of the college students, while Carroll students will receive hands-on education experience.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Nancy Chabot, a Planetary Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).

Dr. Chabot received an undergraduate degree in Physics at Rice University and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona. Her research interests involve understanding the evolution of rocky planetary bodies in the solar system. At APL, she oversees an experimental petrology laboratory that is used to conduct experiments at elevated temperatures and pressures to investigate the geo-chemical differentiation and evolution of planetary bodies.

Prior to joining APL, Dr. Chabot worked at NASA Johnson Space Center and Case Western Reserve University. She has been a member of five field teams with the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program.

Currently, Dr. Chabot is the Instrument Scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) on the MESSENGER mission. In March 2011, MESSENGER (short for MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) became the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, after a journey through the inner solar system that included a flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus and three flybys of Mercury. This impressive journey yielded the first return of new spacecraft data from Mercury since the Mariner 10 mission nearly 40 years ago. MESSENGER and MDIS continue to return unprecedented data about Mercury and provide fundamental insights into the solar system's innermost planet.

MESSENGER will be the topic of the keynote presentation to the middle school.

”I am thrilled to see our college students serving as role models to middle school students by encouraging them to consider STEM fields as part of their future career planning,” said College President Dr. Faye Pappalardo.

“The concentration in this collaborative effort is on the connection between Mathematics and Science, specifically Chemistry,” said Maria Burness, department chair of Mathematics and Engineering at Carroll. “It is important for middle school students to understand that Mathematics is not just confined to the four walls of their classroom. It is an integral part of their lives. Our students have projects they have developed that they will share with Shiloh students to help communicate that message. I especially want to thank Shiloh Principal Mr. Jeff Alisauckas for supporting this activity.”

“We know that if we can excite students about STEM fields early in their educational journeys by engaging them in hands-on learning activities like Ready, Set, STEM, they will be more inclined to pursue these fields as career choices,” said Carroll Department Chair of Sciences Anne Davis.  “This program has been such a tremendous success because of the energy and enthusiasm of both the college and middle school students. We are pleased to be able to continue this great collaborative partnership.”

“The Shiloh project is another great opportunity for our Mathematics and Science Education majors to work first-hand with students as well as interact with teaching professionals. The Education faculty and students are very excited about this partnership” said Carroll Education Department Chair Susan Sies.

Parents will also be invited to observe the student interaction. “We want parents to encourage their children to see the value of Mathematics in the fields that specialize in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” said Vicki Weiland, Mathematics teacher at Shiloh.

Note to the Media: For best response to inquiries, please call Sylvia Blair at 410-386-8411 or e-mail


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