News: STEM grows on Quantico students
Story by Pfc. Samuel Ellis
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Quantico Middle/High School, aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, hosted a science, technology, engineering and mathematics event on May, 9, 2013.
Organizers designed the event to stimulate student interest in technical job fields and expose the pupils to those working in the fields.
“If you pick a career that you like, you won’t work a day in your life,” said Mike Gould Department of Defense Education Activity New York/Virginia/Puerto Rico district superintendent to students during opening remarks. “Enjoy [this event], because this is some pretty cool stuff.”
The students rotated through a series of events, operating various pieces of technology such as a quadricopter (four-bladed helicopter), a dragon runner (military robot), a pacbot (unmanned ground vehicle designed for its ability to fit into a backpack) and a marcbot (unmanned ground vehicle designed for inspection purposes) among other things.
“I hope to experience different careers,” said Malick , 15, a Quantico sophmore. “I’m not sure what I want to do [as a vocation], but hopefully this will give me insight.”
The students also were briefed by representatives from various organizations including: NASA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.
“Inspiration and role models are the two reasons I came here today,” said Joeletta Patrick, assistant director of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education NASA headquarters, Washington, D.C. “When I was their age, I wondered what a scientist looked like. I like to show them I’m just like them. Doing my job can become a reality.”
The students also participated in building towers out of raw spaghetti noodles, string, tape and a marshmallow. The students used teamwork and concepts learned in classes to build a tower capable of supporting the marshmallow at its peak. The goal was to build the highest tower.
“The tower building enhances the students’ learning, because they want to learn,” said Terry Pearson, art teacher. “It’s fascinating to watch how the children’s minds apply what they’ve learned in the classroom.”
From robots and a medium tactical vehicle replacement, to infrared heat and reflecting imaging, Quantico students had much to experience as the faculty sought to prime the pump of students’ minds, ultimately to draw students to consider STEM fields for their future.
“Today is all about giving you opportunities to see stem in action,” Michael Johnson, principal Quantico Middle/High School, said to students. “We want you to be able to think outside the box, create things that haven’t been created and fix problems that haven’t been created yet. Nothing is impossible.”