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AEDC Tunnel 9 team members taking initiative in STEM outreach

Dr. Eric Marineau, chief scientist of hypersonics at the AEDC Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9, hosts a booth at a recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics event held at the Aviation Museum in College Park, Maryland. While there, Marineau had the opportunity to speak with students of Duvall High School about his work and the many careers in aerospace engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dan Marren)

Dr. Eric Marineau, chief scientist of hypersonics at the AEDC Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9, hosts a booth at a recent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics event held at the Aviation Museum in College Park, Maryland. While there, Marineau had the opportunity to speak with students of Duvall High School about his work and the many careers in aerospace engineering. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dan Marren)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- AEDC supports many Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) efforts throughout middle Tennessee impacting nearly 19,000 students in more than 60 schools since 2013 and has a program dedicated to STEM at Arnold Air Force Base.

But the STEM efforts don’t stop in Middle Tennessee, the AEDC team members at Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 in White Oak, Maryland, are also very involved in STEM outreach.

According to Dan Marren, director of the AEDC site at Maryland, Tunnel 9 has an impactful workforce development program for undergraduate and graduate students through its Hypersonic Center for Testing Excellence.

“Dr. Eric Marineau, T9 chief scientist, has been instrumental in distinguishing this program from most other programs of its kind,” he said.

Most recently, Marineau and Marren participated in a STEM event for high school students aimed at getting them excited about careers in science and technology.

“On Friday, Nov. 17, a last minute opportunity came up to participate in a STEM event,” Marren said. “Working with our state partners at the Federal Research Center, there was a sponsored tour of the Aviation Museum in College Park, Maryland, for Duvall High School, our local area’s high school that has a magnet program in Aerospace.”

As part of the STEM event, Marineau set up a booth and chatted with the high school students about Tunnel 9 and the careers in aerospace.
“Marineau does such a great job speaking with the high school’s magnet students, who have an interest in aerospace about the different careers available through the Air Force Test Center,” Marren said.

White Oak staff also regularly participate in management activities at the Federal Research Campus where Tunnel 9 is located, and through these meetings with other government organizations, Marren and his staff capitalize on opportunities such as this.

“There are many opportunities that come from this coordination, and at a meeting months ago we were introduced to a STEM activity from the state that was previously focused on biological sciences,” he said. “When the coordinator realized that there was an aerospace event coming up with a local magnet school program, she asked if we might want to participate. We said sure and Eric and I attended.”

Marineau stated that he’s glad he took the chance to become involved in this event as he always enjoys taking part in these outreach opportunities and seeing the students become excited about his field of work.

“The event was a great opportunity to interact with students and tell them about the exciting work we do at Tunnel 9,” he said. “The students were engaged and eager to learn more about hypersonics and the unique Tunnel 9 capabilities.”