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    Encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers

    Encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers

    Photo By Alan Antczak | A group of high school students hold up their water samples after obtaining the...... read more read more



    Story by Ashley Nekoui 

    Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command

    SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers was the resounding theme of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific's High School Summer Academy, which took place at the Center, July 23-Aug. 30.

    Students from local San Diego high schools including Preuss High School, Patrick Henry High School, and the High Tech High Schools, attended the week-long events. SSC Pacific personnel hosted the academies, focusing on projects related to computer science, physics, and engineering.

    Meriah Arias-Thode, a scientist in the Environmental Sciences Branch at SSC Pacific, worked with students to explore sediment microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and how they generate power. The students worked in pairs, testing pre-fabricated fuel cells to assess how much power each one would generate.

    "This is such an interesting activity," said Ricardo Hernandez, a sophomore at Preuss High School. "I can't believe that we can get energy from mud and that it actually provides a voltage."

    MFCs provide a way to obtain free, perpetual power by amassing electrons that anaerobic bacterial communities in the sediment transfer to the anode. SSC Pacific scientists analyze the performance of sediment to assess the MFCs efficiency when deployed in a deep marine environment.

    "It's important to mentor students, and a project that relates to the real world allows students to expand on their future paths," said Thode. "I had an individual in my life who helped guide me, and I know what a difference that truly makes in a person's life. Keeping students engaged, especially in science and engineering, is essential to our future."

    Students also toured the Environmental Sciences lab during that day's lesson and built water samplers, which they used to collect water from the bay to test for potential of hydrogen, carbonic acid, and salinity.

    Lewis Hsu, a Naval Surface Warfare Center postdoctoral fellow at SSC Pacific, provided the tour for the students and helped them collect and analyze their water samples.

    Hsu hoped the students would understand how chemistry can be applied in real-life situations and also how important these applications are to the health of the ocean.

    After each workshop, students highlighted the day's activities in presentation slides, with finished versions shared during concluding festivities with their families and SSC Pacific personnel.



    Date Taken: 08.02.2012
    Date Posted: 08.07.2012 13:19
    Story ID: 92796
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

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