Skip to Main Content

STEMs of the Future

Article By Sgt. 1st Class Thaddeus Harrington, Maryland National Guard Public Affairs

Expressions of amazement and intrigue showed across the faces of the YouthWorks STEM program participants as they experienced some of the STEM-related career fields in the Maryland National Guard.

The MDNG recently supported the curriculum of Baltimore City’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program under YouthWorks. Each Wednesday throughout the month, the group of about 40 junior-high-school age YouthWorks participants visited National Guard installations throughout Maryland and met with MDNG professionals with expertise in STEM-related career fields. 

The YouthWorks program connects thousands of young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to summer jobs with private, nonprofit, and city and state government employers throughout Baltimore. This is the first time the MDNG partnered with the Baltimore City’s Mayor’s office to offer this type of STEM program.

“Our partnership with Baltimore City is at the core of our mission, we are a community-based organization,” said Army Brig. Gen. Adam R. Flasch, director of the Joint Staff. “The focus on STEM, the ability to reach young people in a meaningful way, and share our story, goes to the heart of where we want to be as an organization.”

U.S. Army Maj. Jessie Green, a joint network operations planner, facilitated the support from the Maryland Air and Army National Guard for the STEM program. The MDNG provided transportation so the participants could get a hands-on experience with subject matter experts in some of the tech-type jobs.

The group visited Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River for A-10C Thunderbolt II simulator flight time, toured the hangars, and interacted with pilots and mechanics. Then, they spent time at Weide Army Airfield in Edgewood, in the UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter and door gunnery simulators. Also present were wheeled robots from the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, who set up an obstacle course to maneuver the robots through.

The participants came to the historic 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore exploring the mobile Analytical Laboratory Suite brought by the 32nd Civil Support Team, a unit charged with detecting and mitigating CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive) hazards.

While the 32nd CST demonstrated how they identify and mitigate CBRNE hazards, the 275th Cyber Protection Team taught the group more about the dangers in the virtual world. They shared valuable information on how to protect themselves online, application development, and how people develop apps to take your information. 

Finally, the group learned from soldiers in the Maryland Medical Detachment about the basic medical tools used to save lives and limbs. With the assistance of the medical soldiers, the participants were able to clear airway restrictions, observe nasal pharyngeal insertions, administer IVs, observe blood draws, and practice suturing.

“The MDNG has really stepped up to provide great programming for these kids, and maybe influenced a lot of these kids to go into STEM programs,” said Green. “And, hopefully, [come] into the Maryland National Guard when they become of age.”

Green, in the past, has worked as a recreation center director for the City of Gaithersburg and as the recreation director for the Board of Child Care, an organization headquartered in West Baltimore that operates group homes throughout Maryland and neighboring states.

“We, the MDNG, remain committed to Baltimore, and to all the communities that make up our great state and we intend to continue this partnership along with others in the Baltimore City School system,” added Flasch. “Only through continued engagement and support of our communities can the full capabilities of the MDNG be brought to bear.”

Check out the different STEM related career fields in the Army National Guard: https://nationalguard.com/careers/stem  

View photo gallery from the events

STEMs of the Future