By MC2 Justin A. Johndro, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. Northwest
BREMERTON, Wash. — More than 100 students from three Puget Sound elementary schools participated in events built around the concept of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at the Puget Sound Naval Museum in Bremerton, Feb. 12.
The STEM event was a cooperative effort between the Keyport and Bremerton Naval Museums with help from Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF).
Many volunteers from Navy Region Northwest, along with special guest appearances, spent half their day talking with and working alongside the 4th grade students. Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent was among the crowd.
“We support everything STEM stands for,” said Lent, who has attended STEM events since becoming the Mayor of Bremerton in 2009. “I have been a judge at many science fairs from 1st grade to 5th grade and if I see anything that has potential, and that has to do with aerospace, I send the student’s name and project to Boeing so there’s a way to continue the encouragement to these kids.”
Groups of students were able to test their robotic and engineering skills as well as seeing how their paper tube rockets flew through the air propelled by compressed air.
“I was surprised at watching the students in the robotics,” said Mary Madison, 4th Grade teacher at Wilkes Elementary School in Bainbridge Island, Wash. “Students were putting different things together trying to figure out how to make things light sensitive or dark sensitive. When most of their ideas weren’t working, they had to reevaluate the properties of each cube and make it work.”
The ultimate test of the day was to protract the correct angle of the compressed air station that gave their rockets flight. Each student needed a precise angle to get the maximum distance with the rocket.
“Today was the first time out of the classroom for these students,” said Madison. “A lot of the students will take what they learned from the volunteers today and apply it to their studies back in the classroom, that way when they come back they can expect better results.”
The STEM program was implemented to show younger generations there are exciting jobs in the science and technology fields and to help foster the growth of future scientists for America.