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  • Naval Health Research Center Volunteers to Support STEM Education
    By Lt. Brennan Cox and Anna Hancock, Naval Health Research Center Public Affairs


    Science fair displaySAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Two Naval Health Research Center (NHRC) researchers volunteered as judges for the 2014 Discovery Charter School Science Fair this month, which featured more than 75 submissions of scientific and engineering-based research projects by students in grades four through eight. 

    Lt. Brennan Cox an aerospace experimental psychologist and John-David Collins a biomedical engineer, both from NHRC, assessed students on their ability to define a problem, incorporate existing literature, develop hypotheses, design a study or product, collect and analyze data, and explain the results. 

    "It's important that we encourage youth to develop an interest in science, research and development," noted NHRC's Commanding Officer Capt. Jacqueline Rychnovsky. "Thinking back to when I was young, I can remember those who inspired me and influenced me to start my research career in the Navy. Hopefully we can pay that forward to the students in our local community." 

    The winner of the competition, fifth grader Gerardo Meneses, was recognized for his research on magnetic acceleration, inspired by his observations of roller coasters at a local amusement park. According to Meneses, there are many variables that influence the degree of magnetic acceleration, including the number magnets as well as the distance and angle of the magnets to the vehicle. 

    Although Meneses took home the trophy, Cox and Collins agree that all participants were winners.

    Discovery Charter School and this annual competition prepare students for transitioning successfully to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum in the upper grades. The Department of the Navy has historically promoted STEM education and related efforts, and NHRC regularly volunteers in support of local youth STEM education programs. 

    As the DoD's premier deployment health research center, NHRC's cutting-edge research and development is used to optimize the operational health and readiness of the nations armed forces. Within close proximity to more than 95,000 uniformed service members, world-class universities, and industry partners, NHRC's expert team sets the standards in joint ventures, innovation, and practical application.​