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For Immediate Release — May 25, 2011 | HQ Offices
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3268

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — May 25, 2011 — Three Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students were selected to participate in the 2011 Research Science Institute (RSI) this summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass.

The students selected to the program are:

  • Marie-Elise Goetzke from Heidelberg High School, in Heidelberg, Germany;
  • Katherine Kem, from Wiesbaden High School in Wiesbaden, Germany and;
  • Colin McDonnell, from Lakenheath High School in Suffolk, England.

Mr. Charlie Toth, Principal Deputy Director and Associate Director for Education, congratulated the students for being selected.

"The students selected to participate in the RSI program this summer are models for 'excellence in learning through excellence in teaching' and will represent DoDEA students well in their work at MIT this summer," said Mr. Toth. "RSI has benefitted DoDEA students who have attended the program in the past; many of which have gone on to pursue scientific research after high school. RSI's summer program continues to serve as an outstanding example of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as DoDEA continues to look at ways to expand and incorporate STEM education principles in kindergarten through Grade 12 curriculum."

RSI is a residential summer program sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) in collaboration with MIT. The program is held from June 19 through July 26 and allows 80 high-school juniors from all over the world to work side by side with distinguished scientists and researchers.

For six weeks the DoDEA students will join their peers in participating in college-level instruction led by professors from top leading universities. The classes will focus on enhancing the students' research skills as they complete hands on research. Many students use the research projects that they complete during RSI as a basis for entry into future science competitions and often take home top awards.

Students selected to the program also receive free tuition, room and board.

Students that attend the program are selected competitively based on rigor in the classroom that focuses on STEM; their PSAT scores; essay answers that focuses on their goals in science and math; high achieve in math, sciences, writing and presentation skills. Students must also receive recommendations from their teachers.

Goetzke, Kem, and McDonnell are all exceptional students with amazing leadership abilities.

Goetzke's teachers and peers recognize her as a strong academic leader. She is involved in the Spanish Honor Society at her school and was also on the model UN team at Heidelberg HS.

"Marie is one of the few amazing students we encounter throughout our teaching career," said Heather Robertson, a Spanish teacher at Heidelberg. "She is hungry for knowledge and devours everything we present and, on her own, seeks additional information related to topics studied in class. She is a leader by example, assists peers without hesitation, and follows through on all tasks."

Kem is known for her leadership abilities both in and outside and classroom and her desire to learn and grow as a student.

"Katy is a remarkably talented young lady, demonstrating a particular aptitude for scientific inquiry and keen interest in the patterning and elegance of chemistry," said Wiesbaden Assistant Principal, Colleen Larkin. "Katy is actively engaged in learning, soaks up knowledge, and openly shares her discoveries. She is a leader inside and outside of the classroom and makes the most of each opportunity afforded her. Katy is a wonderful example of the students at WHS; I'm thrilled that she is able to participate in RSI."

McDonnell's interests in sports, politics, and science have allowed him to expand his scope of interests and become a well-rounded student. He has participated in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) where he placed second, competed in the European Championships for both golf and soccer, and participated in the Model United States Senate Team. McDonnell is also a member of the LHS Academic Team. The team placed first in the DoDDS-Europe Academic Games Competition this year.

Thomas Whitney, the principal of Lakenheath High School, recognized McDonnell for his well roundedness and tenacity as a student.

"Colin McDonnell has amazing abilities that make him one of the most gifted and well rounded students at Lakenheath High School," said Whitney. "Colin has brought many accolades to Lakenheath this school year and the staff and students all take pride in his accomplishments and his success!"

Students interested in applying for the 2012 RSI program should contact their school to learn more about application deadlines. More details on how to apply will be available on DoDEA's website:

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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