Science and Technology News

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scott STEM group names essay contest winners

by T.G. Kistler
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

10/15/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- The Scott Air Force Base Science Technology Engineering and Math Advisory Group recently announced the winners of their fall 2013 essay contest.

Twenty-three southwestern Illinois students wrote essays on "Why is studying science, technology, engineering or math related subjects important for you and students at your school?"

This was not just a writing exercise.

"Humans have insatiable curiosity and this is never stronger than when we are young," said Dr. Donald Erbschloe, Air Mobility Command chief scientist and Scott STEM Advisory Group chairman. "STEM provides tools and programs to help encourage and sustain this passion."

The winners are: Rachel Holtmann, Pontiac Junior High School, Fairview Heights; Destiny Johnson, Dorris Intermediate School, Collinsville; Chloe Sax, Triad Middle School, St. Jacob and Matthew Halbrook, Lahr-Academy, Edwardsville.

"We are very proud of all the students who submitted entries for the competition," said Andrea Green-Armstrong, a STEM group member. "All of the essay submissions were well done and really gave a voice to the importance of studying STEM fields for students to be successful in future education and career endeavors."

Each student will receive a certificate of recognition from the Scott STEM Advisory Group and the school receives a gift certificate for a Mad Science show. Mad Science shows promote scientific learning through child-friendly, theatrical demonstrations.

Green-Armstrong mentioned one essay specifically.

"The essay by Chloe Sax, from Triad Middle School, stood out because it went further than benefits to individuals; it captured the big picture point that in order to stay competitive with other countries, the United States must have a citizenry that is knowledgeable in STEM fields," she said.

All fifth- through eighth-grade teachers, students, classes, clubs and groups associated with a public or private school, home school network or support group were eligible to compete as long as they resided in one of the 10 southwestern Illinois counties surrounding Scott AFB.

Scientists, engineers and interested base members formed the Scott AFB STEM Advisory Group in 2011 to advance STEM outreach and education in southwestern Illinois. The group includes volunteers from U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and the 375th Air Mobility Wing.

In an effort to support the future workforce needs of the Department of Defense, the National Defense Education Program provides funding for the Scott STEM Advisory Group awards.

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