2018 Chesapeake chapter’s supports Maryland Area STEM Events

Clinton Hilliard, CSEP, STEM Committee Co-Chair (Edited by Myra Parsons Gross)

 February turned out to be just a warm up for the Chesapeake chapter’s student outreach efforts for our STEM Committee.  Don Gantzler and Clinton Hillard, CSEP led a team of volunteers as co-chairs for this year’s local Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Events.  

 Two chapter members; George Anderson, ESEP and Bob Berkovits, participated with Clinton Hilliard, CSEP as mentors at the February 15th mid-year competition review for the Maryland Society of High School Engineering Program’s (MSHSEP) “Shark Tank”. MSHSEP is a student STEM mentoring program as well as a series of competition events held throughout the year at the Engineer’s Club in downtown Baltimore. This Event is sponsored through the Engineering Society of Baltimore and Baltimore County Public Schools.

 Chapter volunteers again participated as independent sponsor judges at two of Maryland’s top student STEM events: The (March 3rd) Anne Arundel County Science Expo and the (March 24th) Baltimore County Science Fair.  INCOSE’s participating volunteers for these events were comprised of: ESEPs, George Anderson and Thom Platt, CSEP, Chuck Struchen, Past President, Mike Pafford Christy Best, Daniel Yue in addition to Co-chairs, Don Gantzler and Clinton Hilliard, CSEP.

 Between these two events, members observed over 500 projects being presented spanning the academic grade levels from 7th through 12th. As it was physically impossible for our judges to cover the entire field of contestants, efforts were focused on the senior level projects deemed most appropriate for selected criteria.  In all, the chapter handed out a total of twelve project awards going to students that our judges deemed most excellent. 

 All our awardees were presented with INCOSE certificates of recognition along with an official INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter coin.  Additionally, the top three winners at each fair received monetary awards totaling $1,200.  The Chesapeake Chapter also provided another $1,000 of direct sponsorship support to the county event program offices.  Both event directors graciously recognized INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter at their events as being a vital partner in allowing for the offering of these STEM events to students across Maryland.

Our judges specifically noted this year’s winning theme was machine learning technology. Eight out of twelve selected winners incorporated machine learning technology in their projects. Additionally, many project solutions were found to be extremely relevant to solving some very important real-world issues.  The 1st place award for the Anne Arundel County Science Expo built an impressive, working prototype that employed neural networks that detected firearms hidden on a person’s body.  Likewise, the Baltimore 1st place winner combined machine learning and remote sensor data to improve modeling of Chesapeake Bay water clarity. 

 The entire judging team came away from both events extremely impressed with the sophistication and effort displayed by all these talented students.

 Anne Arundel County Expo Awardees were:

  • 1st Place Certificate: Andrew Karam, Neural Networks Applied to a Concealed Weapon Detection System

  • 2nd Place Certificate: Ana Fahey, Divisive Devices; identifying how social media divides us.

  • 3rd Place Certificate: Maya Albayrak, Neural Network Model to Analyze Tweet Content Predicting the Geographic Spread of the Flue.

  • Honorary Place Certificate: Helen Dover, Survival of the Fittest; using biological concepts to find the ideal variables and conditions that will produce the best end result to a problem.

  • Honorary Place Certificate: Miranda Cleary Machine learning to End Software Vulnerability; A defensive software solution.

  • Honorary Place Certificate: Eric Chu, Engineering to Assist People with Disabilities.

Clinton Hilliard (on left) and Don Gantzer (on right) presenting awards at the AAC Science Expo. (Not pictured but also AAC fair judges were George Anderson, Christy Best, Mike Pafford, and Thom Platt)

Clinton Hilliard (on left) and Don Gantzer (on right) presenting awards at the AAC Science Expo. (Not pictured but also AAC fair judges were George Anderson, Christy Best, Mike Pafford, and Thom Platt)

Baltimore County Fair Awardees were:

  • 1st Place Certificate: Marvin Li, Machine Learning Algorithms and Generalized Linear Model for Satellite Remote Sensing of Ocean Color Chlorophyll

  • 2nd Place Certificate: Desmond Lalli, Developing a Shield to Protect Astronauts from Cosmic Radiation Over Long Duration Space Missions

  • 3rd Place Certificate: Kirstin Walz & Nathan Duciuk, Spill Resistant Lid for Disposable Coffee Cups

  • Honorary Place Certificate: Nicole Meister, Improving Robustness of X-ray Synchrotron Image Analysis Using Deep Learning and Data Augmentation.

  • Honorary Place Certificate: Elizabeth Jelezniakov, Computer Simulations of DNA Nanotubes

  • Honorary Place Certificate: Evains Francois, Altering Different Components in a Cockroach Inspired Robot.

We appreciate the efforts by both Don Gantzler and Clinton Hilliard, CSEP and the committee of volunteers for their dedication to our youth community and interest in STEM.