Wesley Cannon Scholar students visited the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on July 12 to learn the value of the agency and connection to the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field.

Congress established NIST in an effort to remove a challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness — a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany and other economic rivals.

“The trip to NIST was an extraordinary opportunity for Wesley students to see firsthand the heart of U.S. industrial competitiveness and the underlying research that drives it,” said Wesley Professor of Mathematics Agashi Nwogbaga. “It afforded us the unique chance to see how the things they learn as STEM students at Wesley are applied in real life-changing research at NIST. We are so grateful to Delaware State Senator Chris Coons office for arranging the opportunity.”

Twelve students and two faculty attended the tour that was tailored to match the academic programs and interests of the Wesley STEM students. Topics included counting cells, standard reference materials for human health, the role of math and related topics.

“I was very interested in the various applications and job fields,” said Cannon Scholar Mike Skivers. “The visit allowed me to become exposed to them in an interactive way.”

“The NIST emphasis on collaborative research coupled with their approaches to data analytics, innovation and technology commercializations, helped provide guidance for future career options to our Scholars,” said Assistant Director of STEM Initiatives Kevin E. Shuman.