Kirsten Mullican, a junior at Hartselle High School, attempts to shoot down a toy helicopter while visiting the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Concepts Analysis Lab at Redstone Arsenal during Adventures in Engineering Day, Sept. 26. | Credit: Carrie E. David (SMDC/ARSTRAT)

Archived Story

Student sees ‘awesome’ side of science

Published 12:35pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Carrie E. David

REDSTONE ARSENAL – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command once again joined with other tenant organizations on Redstone Arsenal to show local area high school juniors the fun side of science.

Kirsten Mullican, a junior at Hartselle High School, already knew she wanted to major in astrophysics, but said she really enjoyed the Simulation Center’s demonstration.

“The 3-D printer was super awesome,” she said. “It’s really cool to be able to print a part to fix something that’s broken and make it work again.”

During the all-day event, called Adventures in Engineering, on Sept. 26, the students were shuttled across the installation for briefings and demonstrations by various organizations, including SMDC, NASA, the Missile Defense Agency, the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, and Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center, and even off the installation to the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

“Adventures in Engineering is a fantastic way for us to show the exciting opportunities the Army has for students,” said third-year demonstrator Shannon Berry, operations and research analyst for SMDC’s Future Warfare Center Innovative Ventures Office. “You don’t have to wear a uniform to serve your country. That’s one of the questions I get most often. I always emphasize how proud I am to serve my country and support the warfighter, while working in a field I love and doing things that are interesting and challenging. It’s important to let these students know opportunities like the one I had are out there.”

Stephanie Cleveland, an engineer in SMDC’s Technical Center Concepts Analysis Lab, said her favorite part of Adventures in Engineering is the excitement from the students.

“You can tell that many of the students view becoming an engineer or scientist as an unrealistic goal for their lives,” Cleveland said. “When they see people not much older than themselves working on these amazing projects, they realize they can do the same.”

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