Middle school student is no stranger to STEM

July 20, 2017

By Katie Hall, ARL STEM Outreach Office

Story Highlights

  • The Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science, an initiative of the U.S. Army Education Outreach Program, summer sessions are underway at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (July 11, 2017) -- The Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science program, an initiative of the U.S. Army Education Outreach Program, summer sessions are underway at APG.

This year marks a four-year collaborative effort among the Army Research Laboratory, the Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense and the Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center to collectively offer a total of nine summer sessions at the ARL STEM Center.

Students ranging from grades 5-12 attend a free one or two-week session designed to provide hands on interactive lab experiences.

Marissa Yancone is a student attending one of the GEMS sessions for grades 7-10 this summer; however, she is no stranger to the STEM program.

Two years ago, Yancone attended a week of GEMS for grades 5-7 at the STEM Center. She returned in April of this year with her teammate, Sara Busch, both from Havre de Grace Middle School, to participate in the ARL hosted Junior Solar Sprint regional competition.

The students received the first place award after scoring the highest cumulative total of three categories--artisanship and engineering of their solar car, their display and documentation notebook and their car's racing performance.

Winning the regional competition entitled the student's to an all-expense paid trip to the National JSS Competition in Orlando, Florida, where they placed third out of 82 teams.

"My favorite part of the national competition was getting to meet people from all over the country and seeing all of the different design interpretations and new ideas," Yancone said.

When asked what she liked about GEMS so far, Yancone said that she really liked the Wildlife CSI Lab.

"It's something I've never done before," she said. "I think that is why GEMS is so much fun because we get to learn about so many different STEM areas."

Unsure of what educational path she wants to take, Yancone expressed an interest in pursuing something that includes both writing and science. A former Girl Scout, Yancone is member of the National Junior Honor Society and the Havre de Grace Middle School band. She said she enjoys playing soccer and horseback riding.

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, currently celebrating 25 years of excellence in Army science and technology, is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.


Last Update / Reviewed: July 20, 2017