New Tracks Modeling
First Scholarship Winner!

From Jim Kellow, MMR and Founder of New Tracks Modeling:

"Bob Davidson, Chairman of the New Tracks Modeling Mentoring Scholarship Committee, and I are extremely pleased to introduce the winner of our $1,000.00 2023/24 Scholarship:

Ethan P. Bernstein

Ethan has completed his sophomore year at Johns Hopkins university with a 3.69 GPA. He is an active member of the Baltimore, MD Area N-Track Club (BANTRAK). He writes:
'I am an N-Trak and T-Trak module owner and builder. I help with setup and teardown of layouts at local train shows, including the Great Scale Model Train Shows at Timonium, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, and displays, and run trains for public viewing. I also frequently contribute to the club's monthly newsletter with modeling articles and reports from rail-fanning.'

Ethan is a NMRA member where he serves on the Conformance and Inspection department specializing in N-scale equipment. He also writes reviews for the NMRA magazine. He is a talented modeler as evidenced by the two photos he included in his application.

For more information about Ethan please read the short essay he included in his Scholarship application:

'A love of tiny things. I have always been drawn towards the smaller things in life - literally. When given the option of what to buy, I would always choose the smaller item, whether it was a pocket-sized dump truck over the rideable version, or the smaller scale train over the larger size. My interests with tiny things directly correlate with my interests in machines and engineering, where I find the cool, most complex machines to be those that are the most compact, such as the workings of a diesel engine, where lots of different small parts are required to generate immense amounts of power. This love of “tiny things” was what called me to model railroading. When I discovered model trains in elementary school, I was immediately enthralled by the ability of such a small electric engine to haul tens of freight cars, just like the real thing. I was also amazed by the detail that could be stuffed into such small models, and the compactness of the drive mechanisms inside the locomotives. I decided to pursue N-scale modeling, one of the smallest scales of model trains, with a proportion of 1:160, meaning a diesel locomotive that in real life is 72 feet long, is a mere 5.4 inches in N-scale. To increase my knowledge base in the hobby, I purchased and subscribed to several model railroad magazines, went to model train shows, and even joined a local model train club, known as Baltimore Area N-Track, or, more commonly, BANTRAK. I write articles for the club’s monthly newsletter in which I describe how I constructed a certain model from scratch parts. For example, how to make a detailed, scale-sized model airplane or train car from cheap and readily available materials like matchsticks and paper, so that other members of the club could make similar models of their own or learn from the techniques I use when building a certain type of model or working with a certain material. My love of tiny things and my desire to have a positive impact on those around me has guided my interests in materials science, and more specifically, nanomedicine. I discovered nanomedicine when I embarked on a research project my sophomore year, searching the internet for a compelling topic until I finally found something which suited my interests: a tiny medical treatment with a huge impact. Nanomedicine encompasses various forms of microscopic drug delivery platforms to treat various diseases and conditions. I was again captivated by another “tiny thing,” this one with the potential to cure a problem as widespread as cancer, and instantly knew nanomedicine was the right topic for me. I have been researching nanomedicine for three years, pursuing my passion for “tiny things” in a way that could greatly benefit others. My nanomedicine research has guided me to the field of oncology, prompting me to learn about cancer physiology as well as the workings of different systems in the human body at a cellular level, expanding my ever-growing knowledge of super tiny things. In addition to my nanomedicine research, I have also begun investigating an even newer “tiny therapy” called immunotherapy, which, similar to nanomedicine, works at the microscopic level to fight diseases. At age eight, I would never have guessed that my new hobby of tiny model trains would lead me to later conduct research that could have a life-changing impact on people across the globe. Sometimes the most unexpected and impactful things in life are those that are the smallest.'

Thank you Ethan for submitting your application and sharing your model railroading experience and educational goals with us. I know that all of our Model Railroad community wishes you great success in your future education, your professional career, and your future model railroading. We believe you have a very bright future ahead of you and appreciate this opportunity to provide some financial help as you continue to work toward your goals. Best wishes in all your future endeavors.

To say I am proud and thankful for all the support and hard work put in by so many modelers who helped make our first year Scholarship program a great success is an understatement. However, I personally want to thank all the New Tracks Modeling volunteers whose hard work and dedication made this scholarship possible. Special thanks are given to our volunteer Scholarship Committee: Bob Davidson, Chairman, Jeff Jordan, attorney, and members Phil Edholm and Kevin Macomber. It goes without saying we also owe a debt of appreciation and thanks to the model railroaders whose financial contributions made it possible to reach our first years’ goals. Rick Barton, Chris Course, Greg Cassidy, Pat Rivard, Bob Davidson, Bill Grierson, Fr. Ron Walters, Jeff Zibley, David Menard, Greg Warth, Scott Geare, Dan Dawdy, Kevin Macomber, David Schultz, Henry Primas, David Vaughn and Larry Price. Finally I want to thank the volunteers who exhibited our promotional banners around the country, the organizations who allowed us free space at their events and those that publicly supported our efforts. Thank you all. We could not have asked for more support from both the model railroad community and the broader hobby community including the Hobby Manufacturers Association and the National Retail Hobby Stores Association. Thank you all so very much.
New Tracks Modeling is the only volunteer group of Model Railroaders who, as far as I know, is offering a National STEAM scholarship program funded by donations from todays’ Model Railroad Community. We encourage clubs and other organizations to join with us to expand our efforts. Our young model railroaders deserve all the educational help we can give them so our hobby will continue to have knowledgeable leadership to guide our hobby into the future.
To learn more, and to donate to the New Tracks Modeling Mentoring Scholarship, please visit"

Jim Kellow MMR
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APMM Ambassador to Model Railroading


The Model Railroad Museum of Hampton Roads heartily supports the efforts of New Tracks Modeling in developing this scholarship program to encourage and reward students who excel in creating models and dioramas using STEAM concepts. This represents a huge step forward in helping students realize the importance and value of science and engineering along with technology, art, and mathematics in constructing a better future for themselves and their children.


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