AEDC tours 8th grade students to encourage future in science

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As part of educating members of the surrounding communities about Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) at Arnold Air Force Base center employees worked with the Tullahoma City Schools to create a special tour event for the 8th grade students from East Middle, West Middle and St Paul the Apostle Catholic School Sept. 25-26.

The event was aimed at promoting math and science as well as endorsing AEDC, the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) and the Air Force in terms of future students, employees and military recruitment.

"The goal of the tour was to provide an engaging, visual and interactive tour for the students demonstrating the impor¬tance of AEDC's mission and integrating with their classroom studies," AEDC Commander Col. Art Huber said. "With this in mind, I hope the tour sparked some interest in the students and ultimately encourages them to work in math and science areas as adults."

In addition to showcasing AEDC, UTSI provided demonstrations and experiments for the students to participate.

"Nothing quite compares with being allowed to show these young men and women examples of science being ap¬plied in our labs to the technical problems that private industries, pure research or different branches of our government have challenged us to solve," Peter Sher¬rhouse, research associate at UTSI said. "I can't remember when I've been in the presence of so much potential, energy and inquisitiveness. Truly, it was a rewarding experience."

The principal at East Middle School was impressed with the tour and hopes it will help shape students for their fu¬ture.

"One of the young men in my group said as we were coming in the gate 'This might help me with my career' and I was so excited because that is exactly what we want to hear," she said. "If the base will have us, we would gladly attend a tour like this every year. We have truly enjoyed this."

Jamie Hart, homeroom teacher at St. Paul, felt the tour was beneficial for the students to be able to experience this kind of information.

"The students were asking some really good questions and they are having fun," she said. "We really prepared to come here and we've really enjoyed it."