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Heidelberg HS Senior Earns Prestigious Research Science Institute (RSI) Award

DoDea Press Room

Shannon Grammel

Shannon Grammel, a DoDEA Scholar, was awarded one of five coveted awards at the 2009 Research Science Institute (RSI) final presentations for her oral presentation, "Ejection Behavior of Hypervelocity Stars in the Presence of Sagittarius A* and the Milky Way Potential."

Grammel was one of three Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students selected to be among top achieving scholars from the U.S. and abroad to attend the highly selective annual RSI co-sponsored by Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The program was held this summer on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Grammel, who attended the RSI program as one of three DoDEA Scholars, is a rising senior at Heidelberg High School (Germany). Her primary interest is in physics, followed closely by her interest in government. She enjoys looking for patterns in numbers, such as manipulating numbers on the scoreboard to find patterns. She is the daughter of Col Timothy and Tammy Grammel, assigned to VCorps in Heidelberg.

The Center for Excellence in Education, in conjunction with Professor Edward Bertschinger of MIT, recruited Dr. Paola Rebusco (MIT) to mentor Shannon. Shannon collaborated with Professor Bertschinger and Dr. Albert Sesana from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Rebusco suggested that Shannon do a project on hypervelocity stars. Shannon outlined her work in a research paper entitled, "Ejection Behavior of Hypervelocity Stars in the Presence of Sagittarius A* and the Milky Way Potential." Her worked was selected as a Distinguished Presentation by the Institute.

Shannon attended the RSI program with two other DoDEA scholars: Derrick Lewis from Ramstein High School, in Ramstein, Germany, and Husain Mogri from Bahrain School, in Awali, Bahrain. The three DoDEA students were among the field of 70 international students selected as scholars for the prestigious research experience.

Students are competitively selected to attend RSI and are chosen solely on the basis of academic merit. Selection is based on standardized test scores, high school grades, essay submissions, teacher recommendations, and demonstrated potential to become future U.S. leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) The high school scholars will participate in college-level classes under the mentorship of leading scientists and researchers. The students will conduct original, cutting edge research in state-of-the-art university laboratories, hospitals, and corporate research facilities. Students make oral and written presentations based on their research in the last week of the program.

DoDEA Director, Dr Shirley Miles said, "I join students, teachers and administrators across DoDEA in saluting Shannon on this outstanding achievement. Her success demonstrates the kind of intellectual excellence that all students should strive for and speaks highly for her hard work, preparation, and commitment to learning. We are very proud of her accomplishment at this year's RSI."

Kim Day, Chief of Science, DoDEA says that the RSI is a fantastic program for scholars like Shannon. "We are grateful for the Center for Excellence in Education's commitment to providing opportunities in science and technology to our DoDEA students. These programs are designed to develop student experience and proficiency in laboratory based research, project planning, experimentation, problem solving, design, testing, evaluation, and presentation related to engineering, scientific and other technical areas. It's an incredible learning opportunity for our DoDEA students."

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

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