NEWS | Aug. 16, 2017

Bringing STEM to JB Charleston youth

By Senior Airman Thomas T. Charlton Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Members of Joint Base Charleston hosted STEM Day, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics event for children ages 10 to 18 years old, at the Air Base Chapel Annex Aug. 14.

The event taught local youth about different military career fields that use science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“This was an excellent opportunity to show the different jobs in the military outside of combat professions,” said Capt. Alisha Harris, 628th Medical Group public health officer. “We wanted to have the kids learn about the importance of STEM, but let them have fun too, so we found some ways to incorporate both.”

Units from across the base taught attendees how they apply STEM principles in their jobs each day.

“The 628th MDG biomedical technicians showed how they test water for chemicals to ensure it is safe,” said Senior Airman Allyson Walker-Cramer, 628th CES engineer assistant. “Additionally, the 628th CS had members of the infrastructure shop explain how data connections work. As well as a demonstration by the radio transmission shop of how radio and satellite frequencies are used to communicate over long distances.”

628th CES explosive ordnance disposal technicians taught the children how knowing the different types of explosives helps to determine how to handle different situations. SPAWAR members explained how their jobs help develop technologies and provide logistics and engineering for military members.

The attendees then put their technology and engineering skills to the test by building bridges out of craft sticks, making egg parachutes intended to prevent eggs from cracking and building their own race cars with a battery, a few wires, wooden sticks, straws and wheels.

“Getting to see the kids’ reactions watching their eggs hit the ground and finding their eggs weren’t broken was priceless,” said Harris. “It was the same way when they got to interact with some of the other units on base. It was a lot of fun to see these kids brainstorming and trying to figure out how to successfully create each project.”

Approximately 30 students and six volunteers participated in the event, which coordinators say they hope to host here more frequently.

“I truly appreciate all of the units that took the time out of their day to come out to help show off just how important and amazing their professions are,” said Harris. “It allowed us the opportunity to give these children something to be inspired about.”