Westlake High School Biology Teacher Jean Benedetti
didn't have to travel far to show her students how science and technology is
applied at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Division (NSWC IHEODTD), Oct. 13.
Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Deputy Director for
Explosive Ordnance Engineering and Explosives Technical Warrant Holder, Dr.
Kerry A. Clark, and Benedetti spearheaded the effort to give high school
biomedical science students an understanding how classroom science has
Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Project Lead the Way
(PLTW) Biomedical Sciences program allows students to investigate the roles of
biomedical professionals as they study the concepts of human medicine,
physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health. Students engage in
relevant hands-on activities to learn in the context of current applications.
The PLTW biomedical program provides opportunities for
participants to develop relevant, highly-transferable skills in collaboration,
communication and critical thinking.
Clark said NSWC IHEODTD is a natural fit for PLTW because
it is home to more than 1,800 employees, 750 of whom are scientists and
engineers engaged in research and development to benefit our nation's
"These engagements with the community make a big
impact on the kids and the schools.
These activities also connect us with the fabric of Charles
County," said NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director Ashley Johnson.
Dr. Scott Rauscher, an engineer at NSWC IHEODTD, showed
the students his research conducted with sensors to detect traumatic brain
injury (TBI). Rauscher is the technical lead on an extremely low-powered
microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensor for early TBI detection, as well
as the technical lead on a built-in self-test platform for MEMS safety and
Lt. Walter Stull and Chief Petty Officer Zechariah Shiflett
of NSWC IHEODTD's Technical Support Detachment demonstrated the capabilities of
the Advanced Bomb Suit, EOD robotics and the Combined Explosive Exploitation
Chief Petty Officer Nate Warren, an Independent Duty Navy
Corpsman and Navy diver, demonstrated the latest techniques in emergency
medical response and diving physiology at the Stump Neck Dive Locker.
"My favorite part of the trip was getting to try on
the bomb suit and seeing the EOD robots in action," said Colby Bommer, a
Westlake junior. "The bomb suit was heavy."
NSWC IHEODTD has a proud tradition of supporting science,
technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives in Charles County. Cmdr.
Henry E. Lackey, the officer-in-charge of Naval Proving Ground Indian Head
during World War I, helped start one of the first high schools in the county in
NSWC IHEODTD - a field activity of the NAVSEA and part of
the Navy's Science and Engineering Enterprise - is the leader in ordnance,
energetics and EOD solutions. The division focuses on energetics research,
development, testing, evaluation, in-service support and disposal; and provides
warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe,
recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.