Center extends STEM outreach to homeschool students
CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | March 27th, 2019
STEM program manager for CCDC Chemical Biological Center, Casey Weininger, leads a science class for homeschool students at CCPL. (Photo credit: CCDC Chemical Biological Center)
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center’s STEM Outreach Program partnered with the Cecil County Public Library (CCPL) to offer its supplemental science instruction, usually reserved for area public schools, to Cecil County homeschool students.
As the STEM program manager for the Center, Casey Weininger has represented the Center’s STEM Outreach Program since 2015, bringing non-traditional science projects to students in area public schools. Now, those same programs are available to home-school students, ages 11 – 17, who convene at the library’s Afternoon Academy.
“Casey’s programs are perfect for these older homeschooling students, and we began partnering with him to offer Afternoon Academy programs at a few of our branches in the fall of 2018,” said Elizabeth Drummond, CCPL Young Adult Services Associate.
According to the White House STEM for All Initiative, the United States will need an additional one million STEM graduates by 2022. The Center’s STEM Outreach Program was established to stimulate, in local students, an interest in science and to expose them to the many career options in the science field.
With the Center’s more than 100-year history and reputation as an innovative research and development lab to advance warfighter capabilities, Weininger is able to bring resources and equipment into the classroom setting that is difficult to come by for teachers and librarians. With Center equipment, Weininger offers hands-on demonstrations of chemical reactions and has tackled reverse engineering projects like do-it-yourself speakers and making replacement parts for pre-computer-age electronic components the military still uses.
The Center’s STEM outreach program is a step in the right direction in increasing interest in science and math, and developing future scientists – a constant mission for the science community but especially for Army labs like CCDC Chemical Biological Center.
“I try to do more than just teach science,” Weininger said. “If they want a career in the military or a civilian career in the sciences, we can help them get there with scholarships and internships. I want them to see all the possibilities they have right in their backyard.”
“We’re very excited to work with Casey again in the future,” Drummond said. “We look forward to engaging in an ongoing partnership with him and the CCDC Chemical Biological Center.”