News: SPAWAR exhibit booth has wide appeal at USA S&E Festival
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Scientists and engineers from SSC Atlantic and SSC Pacific participated in the largest celebration of science in the United States at the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Expo event, April 27-29, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.
It was an extravaganza with more than 3,000 booths related to science and engineering activities and six stages with performances that all related to science, technology, engineering, and/ or math.
The SPAWAR booth was situated in the Department of Defense block, along with several other DoD booths supported by the National Defense Education Program, the Command's sponsor for education outreach activities.
SPAWAR had a multitude of interactive demonstrations with items related to physics, robotics, energy, and satellites, which SPAWAR related to the Command's mission, and the work that takes place here.
The initial start to the Expo was by invitation only, with congressional staff, media, military families, and pre-selected schools invited to attend without having to contend with the larger crowds. During this event, a student was particularly impressed with the simulation program used by members of the military.
A child explained that his father was in the Marine Corps and he appreciated us sharing this information, as he liked to keep "abreast of what his father is interacting with"; this was particularly endearing as the student was in fifth grade.
The "quadricopter" was a big hit with visitors of all ages. The unmanned aerial vehicle is controlled by an iPad device and has onboard cameras that allow the spectator to see in real time what the pilot sees as the flight is maneuvered.
"That is the coolest, most amazing helicopter," said a student as he watched the drone rise into the air.
When showcasing the activities to students, we explained that these items are used in support of our military and to protect the warfighter.
Nick Kamin, an engineer at SSC Pacific, had a box that demonstrated the relationship between work and energy to students. Various components were on the box, including a small fan and lights that would "power up" when students had built up enough energy. A set of lights helped to get the point across, as it became increasingly difficult to light them up. The students could feel the tension when they wound the handle of the device creating power.
Energy conservation is important at SPAWAR. The Command recently installed more than 5,300 solar panels at its complex in San Diego.
"It was great to be able to share our passion for science and engineering with the students and to provide that real world relevance," said Phillip Allen, an engineer at SSC Atlantic.
"It's fantastic that there is this type of momentum to highlight all the great activities and fields that pertain to science and engineering, and to introduce this to children at such a young age so they have this awareness now."
Date Posted:05.11.2012 13:40
Location:WASHINGTON, DC, US
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