Ann Arbor middle school student participates in Joint Science and Technology Institute event

Aberdeen, Md. — Catherine Van Lent of Ann Arbor was one of 32 middle school students attending the Joint Science and Technology Institute to expand her knowledge and experience in science, technology, engineering and math.

Van Lent, daughter of Colleen van Lent, is a student at Forsythe Middle School.

Van Lent participated in STEM challenges led by STEM educators and conducted research activities in laboratories at Harford Community College in Maryland. Projects offered to middle school students included 3-D Printing and Design, Forensic Chemistry, Technology and Engineering of Drones, and Raspberry Pi Computer Design.

Held Aug. 3-9, the STEM-focused experience was a fully funded educational opportunity for middle school students from the United States. It was funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and managed by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

The middle school experience provided an introduction to STEM research. By working in small teams and doing hands-on projects, students developed problem-solving and collaboration skills.

“By immersing the students in STEM research in a college lab environment, they became excited about emerging sciences and felt encouraged to investigate STEM career opportunities,” said ORISE section manager Jennifer Tyrell.

For a complete list of JSTI participants visit,  

MAIN PHOTO: Catherine Van Lent’s 3-D printing group


The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a U.S. Department of Energy asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

About DTRA:

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense leads DoD science and technology to anticipate, defend and safeguard against chemical and biological threats for the warfighter and the nation.