By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer; photos by Richard Frederickson, Staff Photographer
Approximately 50 college students, professors, and high school teachers from Frederick County Public Schools gathered at Hood College for the second annual National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research (NICBR) Exploring Careers in a Scientific Environment Symposium (NECSES). The Feb. 13 event highlighted the wide range of scientific research as well as the educational and career opportunities available through NICBR partner organizations.
“The NECSES provides a forum for teachers to get out of the classroom and engage with local representatives of the scientific community about the amazing work that is being done here in Frederick and what opportunities are available to their students,” said Marsha Nelson-Duncan, outreach coordinator, NCI at Frederick Office of Scientific Operations.
Featured speakers from the Navy Medical Research Center, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NCI at Frederick, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture presented overviews of their research and information about internships and scientific support activities that can be offered at all levels of learning, from elementary grades through the completion of advanced degrees.
“It was a pleasure to be a part of a collaborative event where the focus was on the teachers,” said Jim Cherry, Ph.D., scientific program director, Office of Scientific Operations, who was the speaker from NCI at Frederick. “Often, teachers are just as interested in information about STEM education as students are. This is our opportunity to give people first-hand accounts of what researchers in our labs will want from the next generation of scientists.”
Photo captions: Above: Students from Carroll Community College’s Sciences and Mathematics Academic Research Team (SMART) take advantage of NECSES to learn more about where science is heading and what types of career opportunities will be available to them upon graduation; right: NICBR representatives answer questions from teachers and students about the past, present, and future of science as it pertains to their agencies.