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    STEM event tests middle-schoolers’ building skills, teamwork

    Tri-Warfare Center STEM 13

    Photo By Kimberly Brown | Students participating in the annual Tri-Warfare Center STEM Challenge in Point Mugu,...... read more read more



    Story by Kimberly Brown 

    Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division

    Twelve teams from 11 different Ventura County schools gathered for the annual Tri-Warfare Center STEM Challenge at the California Air National Guard 146th Airlift Wing’s facilities in Point Mugu, California, on Feb. 20.

    The science, technology, engineering and math-focused challenge helps create a real-life understanding of the importance of engineering in their day-to-day lives and exposes them to the science and engineering professionals and opportunities supporting the warfighter in Ventura County.

    Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, and Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme Division jointly host the challenge, which challenges students to design, construct and test bridge spans made from spaghetti, epoxy and some good old-fashioned teamwork.

    “We want to engage, educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Angel Zamarron, NAWCWD’s STEM outreach coordinator.

    This year, the 146th Airlift Wing hosted the event for the first time, offering students a glimpse at their capabilities – and aircraft.

    The spaghetti bridge project rules are straightforward: build a bridge span that can cover a 10-inch gap and weighs no more than 50 grams. The bridge that can hold the heaviest ration of weight – a function of the load versus the weight of the bridge – wins.

    Teacher chaperones and mentors from the Air National Guard and the warfare centers assisted the students, who had two hours to build. Tours filled out the event, with displays and hands-on activities from NAWCWD’s Threat/Targets Department, a close-up look at Seabee vehicles, and a walk through one of the Air National Guard’s C-130 aircraft.

    This year’s winning team came from Juan Soria School from Oxnard. Their bridge held a whopping 245.8 times its own weight.

    Balboa Middle School, from Ventura, came in second/ their bridge held 123.2 times its weight.

    Thousand Oaks’ Los Cerritos Middle School’s bridge held 102.9 times its weight, securing third place for the team.



    Date Taken: 02.25.2020
    Date Posted: 02.25.2020 15:05
    Story ID: 363870
    Location: POINT MUGU, CA, US

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