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Teachers from the U.S. and around the world — including American Samoa — attend Joint Science and Technology Institute

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BEL AIR, MD — Brandy Barber of Pago Pago, American Samoa was one of 12 high school teachers attending the Joint Science and Technology Institute, a professional development opportunity to expand her knowledge and experience in science, technology, engineering and math.

Barber is a calculus and physics teacher at Fagaitua High School in Pago Pago.

Barber collaborated with scientists and conducted research activities in laboratories at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, the Army Research Laboratory or Harford Community College in Maryland. Projects for teachers included 3-D design and printing, mining the aero-biome for novel antimicrobial compounds and solar degradation of organisms.

The educational program, held July 21 through Aug. 3, was a fully funded research opportunity for high school teachers and students from the United States and from U.S. Department of Defense schools around the world. It was sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and managed by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Teachers gained experience and knowledge of STEM activities, so they are better equipped to engage and guide students toward STEM career paths.

“By immersing them in STEM activities in professional lab environments, they became excited about science and felt encouraged to carry this experience back to their classrooms,” said ORAU section manager Marie Westfall.

For a complete list of JSTI student and teacher participants visit,


The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education is a U.S. Department of Energy asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world-class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.

ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit