AEOP Apprenticeships and Fellowships team attends JSHS National Symposium as exhibitors, competition moderators

Donna Burnette, Kierra McInnis, Miranda Salsbery and Heather Storti work with Army Educational Outreach Program Apprenticeships and Fellowships. The program is administered by RIT’s K-12 University Center on behalf of the U.S. Army. In April, they volunteered at the JSHS National Symposium in Virginia Beach.

During a four-day national event in April that featured some of the country’s brightest young STEM scholars, the Army Educational Outreach Program Apprenticeships and Fellowships team from RIT’s K-12 University Center had the chance to be featured as an exhibitor and provide various volunteer services at the JSHS National Symposium in Virginia Beach.

There, they had the opportunity to promote the apprenticeships and fellowships program, in addition to moderating the two-part competition that highlighted student research projects through an oral presentation and poster contest. In an effort to provide a pipeline of complementary experiences for high school apprentices, staff have a better understanding about how AEOP can benefit students in their aspirations toward presenting at JSHS, and vice versa.

“One of the charges with the consortium is to build collaborations among the (AEOP) elements, which includes JSHS,” Director Donna Burnette said. “Through our connections, we’re really trying to develop a way to support current apprentices to participate in the future.”

JSHS, or Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, is administered by the National Science Teaching Association, and sponsored by the Department of Defense in partnership with its educational outreach programs, such as AEOP. RIT’s K-12 center facilitates AEOP Apprenticeships and Fellowships on behalf of the U.S. Army, and provides paid, interactive STEM opportunities to high school through postdoctoral individuals with real-world, hands-on innovation and research at Army-sponsored facilities and partner universities across the country. There is no commitment to joining the military, but helps foster education, growth and passion in science, technology, engineering and math that benefits the DOD.

Apprenticeships are offered to high school and undergraduate students, while fellowships are provided for graduate and postdoctoral individuals. Participants are also exposed to other DOD-provided opportunities like scholarships and career advancement.

“We got to know the process a lot better, and built trust among our programs and see how we can help apprentices turn research into a JSHS project,” Burnette said. “It was good for us to learn and see how JSHS happens on a larger scale, and how we can continue to develop it here at RIT.”

Before the pandemic, Burnette was instrumental in bringing the Western New York subregional JSHS event to Rochester Institute of Technology where winners can qualify to compete in the larger Upstate New York division held in Albany, and eventually at the national level. Due to COVID-19, the annual event hosted by RIT K-12 has been held virtually.


Recommended News