Thursday, October 14, 2010

Q&A with eCYBERMISSION CyberGuide Joshua Houck

Joshua Houck has been a Volunteer with the eCYBERMISSION program for five years and has showed a continued dedication to the program, including his participation of over 100 hours throughout last year’s competition. Houck has already hosted a few webinars this competition year and is showing no signs of slowing down. I was able to speak with Joshua and find out what keeps him coming back to eCYBERMISSION year after year.

Q: How many years have you been a CyberGuide for eCYBERMISSION?
A: 5th Year - I think it is 2 years as Virtual Judge and this is my 3rd year as a CyberGuide

Q: What's your favorite part about being a CyberGuide?
A: Typing, talking and working with the students and seeing them connect the dots and solve their own questions with just a little direction. They all have such enthusiasm, thought provoking questions, and ingenious answers. I learn from each perspective that they share with me.
Q: What's your role at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL)?
A: I am serving as Branch Chief for the Atmospheric Sensing Branch within the Battlefield Environment Division of the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate. In this new role, I am able to play a more direct role in leading and supporting two brilliant research teams at ARL. One group researches various methods to detect and characterize environmental aerosols to enable the detection and identification of airborne biological or chemical weapons and understand the effluence of other toxic sources like burn pits and diesel generators. The other group researches the environmental efforts on various sensor systems including acoustic and various IR wavelengths. These scientists and engineers work every day to understand how these systems can be enhanced to include the environmental effects to provide better information to our Warfighters.

Q: How do you think eCYBERMISSION best helps a young student prepare for a career in STEM, such as yours?
A: The fundamental thought process outlined within eCYBERMISSION and the application of the scientific method work identically for an eCYBERMISSION Mission Folder, a high school science fair, undergraduate college projects and the gifted researchers I get to work with everyday. Repeated exposure and practice in this way of thinking not only helps students solve educational questions but real life situations.

Q: What are the rewards of being an eCYBERMISSION CyberGuide?
A: My best reward is the enjoyment and satisfaction of helping, teaching and guiding students, watching them turn on the light bulbs in their heads, connecting the dots and seeing something new that makes them want to continue to challenge the next question or solve the next problem. I had some of the best teachers, coaches and mentors that challenged me, supported me and drove me to succeed. I understand now more than ever what drove them...-it was my success. I feel the same way, the more the students I help achieve, the more I am proud of them and the more I want to help the next team to do even better.

eCYBERMISSION would like to thank Mr. Houck for his continued service to the eCYBERMISSION community and to all of our Ambassadors, CyberGuides, Team Advisors and Virtual Judges for their hard work and dedication.

Registration is open!!! Sign up today and have a CyberGuide answer your teams questions.

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