Wesley Cannon Scholar students visited the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg MD on July 12 to learn the value of the agency and connection to the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) field.
Founded in 1901, NIST is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. According to the website the agency is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established it in an effort to remove a major challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals.
“The trip to NIST was an extraordinary opportunity for Wesley students to see firsthand the heart of U.S. industrial competitiveness and the underlying research that drives it,” said Wesley Professor of Mathematics Dr. Agashi Nwogbaga. “It afforded us the unique chance to see how the things they learn as STEM students at Wesley are applied in real life-changing research at NIST. We are so grateful to Delaware State Senator Chris Coons office for arranging the opportunity.”
Twelve students and two faculty attended the tour that was tailored to match the academic programs and interests of the Wesley STEM students. Topics included counting cells, standard reference materials for human health, the role of math and related topics.
“I was very interested in the various applications and job fields,” said Cannon Scholar Mike Skivers. “The visit allowed me to become exposed to them in an interactive way.”
“The NIST emphasis on collaborative research coupled with their approaches to data analytics, innovation, and technology commercialization’s, helped provide guidance for future career options to our Scholars,” said Assistant Director of STEM Initiatives
Dr. Kevin E. Shuman.
The trip was sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation S-STEM DUE award, 1355554; the National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program award, IIA-1301765; and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) program award, P20GM103446.