- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009

The 1983 landmark report, “A Nation at Risk,” warned that students should take three years of math and science to graduate, but 26 years later, nearly half the states still do not require that amount. The Patriots Technology Training Center in Prince George’s County helps fill the void with science — and technology-related programs that target youths — STEM programs. STEM stands for programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

On Dec. 5, the Patriots held its first SeaPerch competition at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The program calls for students to construct simple remote-controlled undervehicles from PVC pipe and other readily available materials. The students’ task is to then deploy the vehicles for a successful mission. The students followed a curriculum that included the robotic vehicles’ buoyancy, propulsion, design, use of tools and other factors.

The Patriots center, which was established 12 years ago and partners with government agencies and the private sector, works with youths in fifth through 12th grades.