Ramstein science teacher to help oversee future of U.S. science

Monica Mendoza
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Sometimes, middle school students bombarding Ken Davault with questions
about things like rocks, mechanics, and technology, manage to stump the
19-year science teacher.He just loves that.

In their investigations about life and how it all works he sees future
scientists, Nobel Prize winners and inventors, he said. He’s doing what
he can to help them get there.

Mr. Davault, a seventh-grade science teacher at Ramstein American
Middle School, was recently named to the Junior Science and Humanities
Symposium Regional Directors Executive Council, where he joins
university professors who oversee the Air Force, Army, and
Navy-sponsored program for middle and high school students. Mr.
Davault, the only middle school teacher on the executive council, left
Wednesday for a week-long seminar in Florida where the council is
discussing how to get more graduating high school students to major in
science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Mr. Davault, who has been a regional director of the Europe JSHS for
four years, said that whether a student chooses a science or math major
in college can be traced back to middle school. It is why he is adamant
about working on the executive council to help middle school teachers
build strong science and math programs, he said.

“Our future pool is our middle school students,” Mr. Davault said. “If
we don’t get them interested before high school, we won’t have them in
our military and civilian science labs.”

This makes his appointment to the executive council all the more
important, his colleagues at Ramstein American Middle School said.

“Too often when decisions are considered about schools and science
education, the people involved are very removed from the classroom,”
said Dr. Randy Brown, RAMS science teacher. “Ken is a practicing
teacher, has been for many years.”

This JSHS program has middle and high school students from across the
United States and Department of Defense Dependent Schools inventing and
producing original research. Some students are so advanced that they
get a patent on their work before presenting it at the symposiums.

Mr. Davault’s said his top goal is to recruit more women as judges and
presenters and more girls to the middle and high school program.  

“I’m going to come out swinging,” Mr. Davault said. “I’m going to grab
teachers first. Then, you get the students excited and then the