Army Youth Program Extends Through UCF

REAP logoTwo Hagerty High School students are spending part of their summer working with Stephen Kuebler, Ph.D.  Kuebler is a mentor for high school students through the 2015 AEOP-REAP program.

AEOP-REAP stands for the Army Educational Outreach Program’s Research and Engineering Apprenticeship Program. The program is a summer STEM program, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which partners students with a mentor that works with them on a hands-on research project over a five to eight week period.

Jayk Barker’s, one of the Hagerty students in the program, project placed him in Kuebler’s nano-photonic materials lab. He used a kind laser-based nano-scale 3D printer to produce optically functional 3D microstructures. Barker explored the chemical, physical and optical properties of these structures in order to determine how the processing conditions affect their properties.

Barker will attend UCF and study mechanical engineering and he appreciated the opportunity to work in the lab.

According to the AEOP website, he said, “I think that receiving a hands-on research experience through the REAP program before coming to college will help me be better prepared for the courses and labs I intend to take and ultimately make me a successful scientists.”

Aadit Vyas, the other Hagerty student who participated in the program, was also a part of the program in 2014.

Vyas investigated a process for metallizing intricate 3D microstructures. His work is generating a new technology for manufacturing sensitive, lightweight infrared detectors for medical imaging and firefighting. Although he is still a Hagerty student, Vyas co-authored a conference proceeding on his researching.

He will pursue a degree in biomedical science and attend medical school.

With two years of REAP experience Vyas said, according to the AEOP website, “I believe that the real lab experience I obtain through the REAP program will provide the skills and foundation I need to achieve my goals.”

Kuebler has some great insights into the REAP programs value.  “Having high school students in our lab enhances our all-around education and training experience.  They learn about the project, conduct experiments and analyze data alongside a graduate student who serves as their day-to-day mentor,” says Kuebler.  Kuebler wishes opportunities like this existed when he was a high school student!

For more information about the REAP program, click here.

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