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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: February 4, 2008
No: 08-03

Wilson Middle School students visit the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center

Students from the Wilson Middle School in Natick, Mass., get to try out parachutes during their visit to the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center Jan. 17. (Photo by Sarah Underhill)

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NATICK, Mass. -- On Jan. 17, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center's (NSRDEC) Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program here hosted a visit and tour for more than 200 students from the Wilson Middle School in Natick, Mass.

Joanna Sharp, the coordinator for the day's event, began with a short welcome. She said she hoped the day would provide the students with a better understanding of the research and development efforts that go on in the NSRDEC and also encourage them to explore educational opportunities in the science and engineering fields.

After, Dr. Marilyn Freeman, director of the NSRDEC, provided some information about herself, her career working for the Army, and the NSRDEC. Dr. Freeman told the students that the center focuses on what Soldiers' wear, eat, carry and use everyday. "We want to do whatever is needed to ensure Soldiers have the best possible equipment," she said, "and to keep them safe." Dr. Freeman mentioned NSRDEC not only supports the current fight, things you might see on the news, but also looks to the future. "We look 30 years out," she stated.

After some interactive questions, she closed her presentation by asking the students to think about the science and engineering behind what they see. "After 20 years, I still love coming to work," she said.

Following Dr. Freeman, a short video detailing some of the NSRDEC mission areas was shown. Two Soldiers stationed at Natick, Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Lewis and Sgt. 1st Class Peter Niemeyer, then spoke about their personal experiences.

Tours were next, with stops all over the installation. Some areas shown included: the Doriot Climatic Chambers, various locations within the Combat Feeding Directorate, a presentation on parachutes, the Center for Military Biomechanics Research, Altitude Chamber, Shelters, the Science of Plastics, and Protective Eyewear.

The teachers continually praise the tour as one of the best that the middle school gets to attend during the year.

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.