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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: May 12, 2008
No: 08-12

Science and nature take center stage at Natick

Col. Gregory Ulsh, garrison commander, gets help from two girls with the ceremonial planting of a sugar maple tree at the Earth Day/Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day celebration held at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass., on April 25. (Courtesy photo)

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NATICK, Mass. --   On April 25, the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center's (SSC) Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Team hosted the 11th annual 'Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day,' held in conjunction with SSC's Earth Day celebration here.

Claudia Quigley, one of the chairs of the event and an engineer, started the day by explaining a little about the WISE program.

Our mission is to expose young men, and especially young women, to careers in science and engineering, she said. "We show how math, science and engineering are used to bring technology to the Soldiers."

Col. Gregory Ulsh, garrison commander, then offered his comments before the program officially began. He said he was happy to see such a large crowd participating, and that it gives the daughters and sons of the work force the opportunity to learn about what we do at the SSC.

Our Soldiers protect our country and we want to be able to provide them with the best items we can, he said. "Our motto is 'Protecting those who serve,'" he continued.

He encouraged the children to make the most of their time by asking a lot of questions throughout their visit.

Before various tours and demonstrations, Ulsh kicked off SSC's Earth Day by asking a few of the children to assist with the ceremonial planting of a tree. He said, "Planting this tree shows the Army's commitment to environmental stewardship."

The theme of this year's Earth Day is "Sustaining the Environment for a Secure Future," and Ulsh said the Army works to protect the environment while working to protect Soldiers.

The children then broke into groups for the various presentations. More than 15 various tours and demonstrations were provided, including ones on: chemical/biological protective clothing, camouflage evaluation, sensory taste test, altitude, Doriot Climatic Chambers, shelters, and Navy kitchens.

During the shelters demonstration, some groups had to solve "engineering missions," said Elizabeth Swisher, electrical engineer. As their mission, the children were asked to perform tasks such as moving ping pong balls from one location to another without using their hands, building paper airplanes for accuracy and distance depending on type of paper used, and creating 'bridges' that would support as many pennies as possible with a single note card.

Lou Jamieson, an equipment specialist who provided a presentation on Navy kitchens, said that he was impressed with the level of interest from the participants. "They asked a lot of good, intelligent questions," he said.

The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) Program had a cookout, which gave their organization an opportunity to raise funds and the participants an alternative to the usual lunch choices.

"We raised more than $500 to go towards Soldiers' morale, welfare and recreation activities," said Sgt. Rebecca Kaufman. In the past, the money has been used for events such as trips to ski areas and theme parks.

As part of the Earth Day activities, there was also a live animal presentation.  Children were fascinated by the show that included frogs, snakes, turtles, and other more exotic animals.

Goody bags were another treat the children received, thanks to Sigma XI and the Civilian Recreation Fund Council (CRFC).

Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy the day.

"We had a great turnout again this year with 144 children participating and the weather was fantastic," said Janice Rosado, who co-chairs the event with Quigley. "This event depends on the support of the entire SSC community, especially the Soldiers and volunteers," she said. "We appreciate all the time and effort they put in."

At the conclusion of the event, a slideshow of the various activities the children participated in during the day was set to music and shown in the auditorium for everyone to enjoy.

The resounding "Hooahs!" that echoed throughout the auditorium as the slideshow played seemed to imply that the participants had a good time.

Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day is open to children aged nine to 18 who are afforded the opportunity to learn about some of the leading-edge technology being developed here at Natick and tour SSC's specialized facilities.

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.