Army Educational Outreach Program Participants Attend 2014 White House Science Fair

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The invitations to the event reflect the Army's commitment to foster STEM talent nationwide.

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The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students as well as te

The students earned this high honor by distinguishing themselves through scientific achievement and service to their communities.

Participants from two programs within the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) portfolio − eCYBERMISSION and the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) − were selected to attend the 2014 White House Science Fair on Tuesday, May 27. The students earned this high honor by distinguishing themselves through scientific achievement and service to their communities.

The White House Science Fair is hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House and will feature science projects and special exhibits and events, all geared to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Attending the White House Science Fair is previous JSHS student Connor Klemenhagen, who is currently a student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and took first place in Environmental Science at the 2013 National JSHS.

Klemenhagen will present his JSHS research on turf grass mixtures that reduce the need for irrigation. This four-year project culminated with the development of a mixture of turfgrass varieties that use less water than current lawns, while maintaining the visual qualities and other characteristics that homeowners find appealing.

“Winning the National JSHS competition made all the difference in my life,” says Klemenhagen, who credits JSHS with helping him see how he can use his scientific skills and knowledge to our nation’s best interests. As the first person in his family to go to college, he is currently a cadet in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps – also known as ROTC.

Additionally attending is the previous eCYBERMISSION Team “Innovation in Autism,” comprised of Jonathan Berman, Maya Flannery and Arjun Mahajan. All were students at the Mirman School for Gifted Children in Los Angeles, Calif. when they won the 2012 eCYBERMISSION competition at the eighth-grade level.

Berman, Flannery and Mahajan, coached by their team advisors Arpa Ghazarian and Arnold Lesin, will present the device they created to help autistic children overcome stereotypy, or repetitive motions such as rocking in place. The device uses existing electronics to cure autistic children, when they are exhibiting the condition. It gently vibrates, allowing the child to self-regulate themselves. The device also records the motion and duration of each stereotypic episode, allowing their parents and caregivers to better understand their behaviors.

Berman is a returning student, who presented his eCYBERMISSION project to the President with his eCYBERMISSION team “The Hardheads” at the White House Science Fair in 2010.

Meredith Schroeder from the Columbus Academy in Gahanna, Ohio will attend the White House Science Fair on behalf of “Trouble with Tremors,” another eCYBERMISSION team. The team, comprised of Savannah Cofer, Meredith Schroeder and Varun Vallabhaneni, were ninth-grade national finalists in the 2013 eCYBERMISSION competition.

After learning that two-thirds of veterans at their local VA hospital suffer from hand tremors, the ninth-grade Columbus Academy team, with help from their mentor Haruna Cofer, developed a new type of glove to treat the condition. Their invention was tested using accelerometers they created themselves using an iPod touch, and were found to reduce hand tremors in approximately 65 percent of patients.

For photos and more information about AEOP participants at the 2014 White House Science Fair, please visit AEOP’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/goAEOP as well as the AEOP Twitter Feed @USAEOP.

About AEOP
The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students as well as teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From elementary school through graduate school, students of all proficiency levels, interests, ethnic, economic and academic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in real world experiences involving these important disciplines. More information is available at http://www.usaeop.com.

About eCYBERMISSION
Sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the eCYBERMISSION competition is one of several science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives offered by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). Designed to inspire student interest in STEM, the program challenges students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities. Students compete for state, regional and national awards.

About JSHS
The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) is a tri-service program funded by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force that encourages high school students to conduct original research in STEM. Sponsors include: Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology); Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA; and Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Washington, DC, in cooperation with higher education. The military and university collaboration JSHS serves to support and encourage these talented youth to become our nation’s future scientific leaders and innovators through scholarships and recognition for outstanding achievement. The National JSHS Program is administered by the Academy of Applied Science, a non-profit educational organization located in Concord, New Hampshire.

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