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FMA’s Annual STEM Family Night Showcases STEM Subjects to Area Students

Hundreds of local elementary and middle school students, and their parents, learned about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) during the Fort Meade Alliance’s (FMA) STEM Family Night, held on Nov. 4 at Arundel Mills Mall.

FMA member organizations showcased cutting edge technology for students, and their families, to inspire a love of science and technology.

“Increasing awareness and interest in STEM-related fields is critical to meeting the workforce needs in this region,” said Penny Cantwell, FMA Education and Workforce Development Chair. “The goal of STEM Family night is to inspire students and inform parents about STEM careers and regional STEM programs.”

During the free event, students participated in a series of hands-on demonstrations that designed to explore various STEM concepts. Participants students:

  • Operated several different robots and learn more about robotics.
  • Learned more about drones and tested an unmanned aerial systems flight simulator.
  • Piloted a Cessna 172 on a flight simulator.
  • Compared healthy and smoker’s lung function during a side-by-side visual demonstration.
  • Conducted several science experiments related to buoyancy, electricity, surface tension, magnetism, fluid dynamics and rotational motion.

In addition, representatives from Anne Arundel County Public Schools were also on hand to discuss STEM programs with participating parents.

Presenters included Anne Arundel Community College, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, DoDEA Grant Project, Lockheed Martin, National Electronics Museum, Power Hawks Robotics Club and South River High School.

FMA’s signature student programs are designed to energize students about STEM subjects and career paths. In addition to STEM Family Night, other FMA student programs include:

Tech Mania, provides 9th grade students a unique opportunity to experience firsthand the technologies being used today by government and industry. The program is held twice each year, in the Fort Meade region in the fall and in Baltimore County in the spring. Since its inception in 2008, more than 2,000 students from several central Maryland counties have participated.

Participating as a presenter during FMA student programs is a fantastic way to engage employees in community service activities and help support the FMA mission. If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved, contact Will Burns at

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