About 450 Montgomery County middle school students took part in the fourth annual “Journeys in Engineering, Technology and Science (JETS)” day at the Universities at Shady Grove campus in Rockville on Dec. 1.
JETS was planned to energize students about careers in science and technology while relating the information to their middle school science curriculum.
The day included 24 hands-on sessions, eight in each of the fields of bioscience and medical engineering, environmental science and computer science.
Among the many activities, students were able to extract DNA from strawberries, participate in robotic prosthetics demonstrations, learn computer programming and take part in a planetarium exploration.
There was also an essay contest announced before the event. Students could select from two of four topics:
What kind of scientist would you be?
What problem in the world would you solve?
Why is science cool?
What project did you enter in a science fair?
The winners, announced at the event, were: Avanish Yendluri, Kingsview Middle School, Germantown, grand prize of a Apple iPad; Jay Raichura, Takoma Park Middle School, first place winner of a scholarship to Montgomery College Summer  Science Camp, and Olivia Baechler, William H. Farquhar Middle School, Olney, second place winner, scholarship to University of Maryland Stepping Stones to Your Future Engineering Camp.
Laurel Farmer, White Oak Middle School, Silver Spring, and Abo Ewimbi, Roberto Clemente Middle School, Germantown, received Honorable Mention scholarships to Montgomery College Summer Science Camp.