Press Releases

College Students to Mentor Shiloh Middle School Students

Release Date: 3/12/2014

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

Carroll Community College Students to Mentor Shiloh Middle School Students “Ready, Set, STEM!” Evolves into an Annual Tradition

Westminster, Md., Students, faculty and staff from Carroll Community College (Carroll) will volunteer with middle school students at Shiloh Middle to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts come alive. “Ready, Set, STEM!” will take place at Shiloh Middle School in Hampstead, Md., on April 11, 2014.

A keynote speaker will kick-off the morning of hands-on activities. “We are excited to have Dr. Scott Murchie, lead investigator on the CRISM instrument from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, now flying on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as our keynote speaker,” said Shiloh Middle School Mathematics Teacher Vicki Weiland.

CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) is one of six science experiments on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which takes measurements of both the surface and the atmosphere of Mars. CRISM is being used to identify locations on Mars that may have had past or present water, a chemical critical to the search for past or present life.

“Dr. Murchie, a planetary geologist, is not only passionate about his field, but he also has worked with various STEM professionals on the CRISM project. On behalf of Carroll students, faculty and staff, we are looking forward to participating with our Carroll County Public Schools’ partner on this initiative that has grown so well,” said Carroll Department Chair of Mathematics and Engineering Maria Burness.

“I am thrilled to see the cooperation that exists between Carroll and the public schools to promote STEM education in the county. The job that these individuals have done toward this goal should be highly commended,” said Carroll Interim Chair of the Science Department Francois Derasse. He is also known as “Professor Wizard,” a science character that he portrays during live demonstrations which he performs at public schools around the county.

Dr. Murchie will begin at 8:30 a.m. After the presentation, all Shiloh students and staff will be assigned to small group classes. Carroll students will share their insight into STEM topics. They will lead middle school students in hands-on experiments. After the sessions, Carroll students and faculty will discuss an overview of how the morning went to incorporate their impressions into next year’s event.

“Ready, Set, STEM!” began with four college students and two faculty members. Now, a combination of over 60 college students, the Mathematics and Engineering, and the Education departments, are participating. Over 200 Shiloh Middle students and 12 teachers now attend the event.

“I am pleased that Carroll students are volunteering their time to make complex STEM topics more understandable to middle school students,” said Carroll President Dr. Faye Pappalardo. “I believe that college student mentors are some of the most effective educational role models for younger students.”

“Students at Carroll are cultivating a proud tradition of helping public school students develop a fascination with STEM topics,” said College Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. James Ball. “This unique initiative will help to shape a new generation of STEM scholars and will eventually prepare them for challenging careers in the field.”


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

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