Approximately 200 students from Anne Arundel County Public Schools and Howard County Public Schools attended FMA’s virtual spring Tech Mania which kicked off in mid-May. Presentations were given by Leidos, Lockheed Martin, National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Cyber Command and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company to students at Crofton High School, Meade Senior High School, North County High School and Glen Burnie High School. Howard County students at the Applications and Research Lab were given the final Tech Mania presentation later in May. Topics that were showcased included everything from the basics of decoding messages and securing personal devices to 3D imaging and virtual reality in the construction industry.
One of the most popular interactive presentations demonstrated the software SketchUp, technology that students are currently learning in the classroom and that Whiting Turner currently uses in the construction business, thus a perfect example of taking class content and providing real-world contextualization. One by one, students shared their enthusiasm: “I think it’s really cool that we use the same technology site as them!” “This presentation inspired me to explore and take interest in the construction field. The creativity and imagination part inspired me.”
Changing the focus to cybersecurity, students thoroughly enjoyed learning more about cryptography and message decoding during NSA’s Cryptanalysis 101 presentation. One student shared, “I already had an interest in cryptography, but this presentation inspired me to continue to pursue it.” Another student said, “I never thought of decoding and cryptography as a career so the presentation was really interesting.”
We’d like to offer our deep appreciation to the presenters, schools and teachers for helping to awaken the potential by opening the minds of students in our region to different career possibilities.