News: Students futures bloom through STEM program
Story by Lance Cpl. Daniel Valle
CAMP LESTER, Japan - The STEM program is an initiative started by the U.S. government to get children interested in various occupational fields that incorporate the use of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"Most students watch television and see athletes, broadcasters, actors and singers," said Ciel J. Robles, a seventh-grade math teacher at Kadena Middle School. "We want them to be able to see these different job fields and understand that these jobs are fun too."
During the visit to the hospital, the students had the opportunity to visit the X-ray room, blood bank, occupational therapy clinic, and physical therapy sections.
The STEM program allows the students to see how they can practically apply lessons learned in class as a career, according to Angela M. Cunningham, a 7th grade science teacher at Kadena Middle School.
"We want the students to be more interested in these fields because these are the fields that will drive the future," Cunningham said. "The visit is meant to teach the children how what they learn in class applies to real life jobs."
The students were excited to visit the hospital and a few are planning to make a career out of it, according to Robles.
"This visit to the hospital was great," said Robles. "A few of my students have told me that they would like to pursue a career in physical therapy."
The visit was also enjoyed by the staff of the naval hospital, according to Petty Officer 2nd Class Laqueto Houston, a medical laboratory technician at the USNHO.
"It was really great to have the children visit us here at the hospital," said Houston. "We were excited to be able to show them what we do every day and hopefully inspire them to pursue a career in this field."
"I think that the STEM program is good for the children because it shows them different jobs that they would not think about trying to do because it seems hard," Houston said. "From my understanding it shows them that these jobs are fun and are very much needed in our society today."
Both the students and their teachers were appreciative of the helpfulness of the hospital staff, said Robles.
"We really appreciate the hospital for opening up and allowing the students to see what they do day to day in order to care for us and keep us healthy," she said.