Dorchester students tour the Naval Academy

ANNAPOLIS — On Feb. 7, nearly 200 students from Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Wicomico counties who participate in the Next Generation Scholars program toured the Naval Academy in Annapolis and participated in a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activity focused on space technology for career and college inspiration.

This unique educational experience was open to all Next Generation Scholars, including the more than 2 percent of students currently in a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program as well as the 40-plus students who have expressed an interest in joining the military after high school graduation. The day-long field trip was coordinated by the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) to expose students to various careers and educational possibilities as they prepare for their futures.

“It’s important for our Next Generation Scholars to see and learn about the full gambit of college and career possibilities, including our nation’s military offerings,” Brian Dulay, executive director of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. “This military college learning experience was designed to help students understand what it’s like to attend a military college and pursue a path of service. In addition, it’s critical that students learn about STEM as there are many professions that use those skill sets and knowledge.”

Students attended an admissions briefing where they learned about requirements and expectations of joining the undergraduate university from an active duty Navy admissions officer. Students also participated in hands-on STEM activities, which align with the focus of the Naval Academy’s academic program in order to meet the current and future highly technical needs of the Navy.

The STEM activities highlighted topics such as cyberspace, circuits and sensors, applied math tessellations, space effects on human physiology, engineering design, zip missiles and Mars rovers. Students then toured the landmark campus and enjoyed lunch at one of its four on-campus dining venues before returning to their bus for the trip home.

For nearly 30 years, MBRT has been connecting the business community with local schools through its Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs. In 2017, MBRT added the Next Generation Scholars program, which provides funding through the Howard P. Rawlings Maryland Guaranteed Access Grant, administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), to enhance education and career awareness as well as college completion for high school students with a demonstrated financial need.

The Guaranteed Access Grant provides an award that will help cover the cost of full-time study at a Maryland college or university for low-income families.

MBRT currently serves nearly 2,000 students in six high schools across five counties. The organization is one of several that partner with leadership and school counselors at select schools throughout the state to provide grade-specific services to ensure that students who are part of Next Generation Scholars graduate ready for their next steps in college, career and life. MBRT coordinators help students and parents understand that college is an option for everyone while bridging the knowledge gap that exists for many families about college and their chosen career paths.


Founded in 1992, the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) is a nonprofit coalition of leading employers that have made a long-term commitment to support education reform and improve student achievement in Maryland.

MBRT is the catalyst for business, government and education to drive high student achievement that ensures a competitive future workforce for a world-class economy. For information, visit www.mbrt.org.