Center scientist meets with the next-generation scientists

CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | March 27th, 2019

Alena Calm assists students with focusing a microscope on a fly wing. (Photo credit: CCDC Chemical Biological Center photo by Shawn Nesaw)

Alena Calm assists students with focusing a microscope on a fly wing. (Photo credit: CCDC Chemical Biological Center photo by Shawn Nesaw)

Our scientists love what they do – developing cutting edge solutions to defend against chemical and biological threats for the U.S. Army. Our scientists also love sharing their knowledge and love of science with others, namely the future scientists who will undoubtedly keep America ahead of the rest of the world in terms of detection and protection.

Alena Calm, a research biologist in the biosciences division at the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center, is one such scientist. During a career day event held a St. Joan of Arc school in Aberdeen, MD., Calm shared her knowledge and talents with students in third through eighth grade who attend Harford County’s only AdvanceED accredited Catholic STEM school.

As students approached the table, they were immediately met with microscopes and samples of fly wings and a deer tick nymph to observe under the microscopes. Students took turns asking questions and peering into each microscope to get a glimpse of the fly wing and deer tick.

When asked about career day, Gabriel Buscemi, a fourth grader at St. Joan of Arc had this to say, “I love science, it’s probably my favorite class.”

Students from all grade levels engaged in good discussion with Calm about what they were seeing under the microscopes and about careers in sciences. Additionally, Calm shared images of magnetic nanoparticles, a new research endeavor she and her team are developing at the Center.

Calm is very active in STEM education, regularly participating in outreach efforts in both Harford and Cecil counties through science fairs, STEM Days and laboratory design guidance on behalf of the Center. In 2018, she was acknowledged for her personal dedication to developing and implementing innovative programs designed to help cultivate the future STEM-educated workforce.


The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (CCDC Chemical Biological Center) is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering and field operations. The Center has achieved major technological advances for the warfighter and for our national defense, with a long and distinguished history of providing the armed forces with quality systems and outstanding customer service. The CCDC Chemical Biological Center is located at the Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.