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    STEMKAMP inspires next generation of Airmen



    Story by Senior Airman Taylor Hunter 

    4th Fighter Wing   

    SEYMOUR JOHNSON, N.C. -- When it comes to inspiring the next generation, the 4th Fighter Wing knows that continual support and development of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs are key to instilling passion in today's youth.

    During a STEMKAMP, 125 Wayne County Public School students ranging from grades 3rd to 8th, visited Seymour Johnson Air Force Base June 14, 2023, to learn how several base agencies use STEM in their own disaster preparedness operations.

    This particular program is a hands-on team building experience that gives students a chance to work with others to solve problems. Collectively, participants have an opportunity to get a new view of how the Air Force uses STEM to better meet mission objectives.

    “We want them to see what happens when there's an emergency, and what different equipment there is,” said Christy White,Title 4 Enrichment Facilitator for Wayne County public schools. “It helps us build the relationship between our schools and the base for the students to see what happens here, especially for the ones who aren't military.”

    During the event, White encouraged students to challenge themselves and seize opportunities.

    “I am so proud to see smart, ambitious students like these pursuing their interests in STEM,” said White. “I really liked watching the kids walk on the jet on the F-15. That was cool to me.”

    White also shared insight on how the program began, and why the base’s involvement is so important.

    “The program started through a grant from Goshen Education Consulting and Department of Defense Education Activity and it's for ten camps around the nation all next to military bases,” said White. “This is the only one in North Carolina and it was placed here because it's next to Seymour Johnson. It is focused on kids of active duty military personnel to have a STEM focus camp teaching them STEM focus projects and careers.”

    Cristy Barnes-Williams, 4th Fighter Wing school liaison, explained the vital role that Airmen and volunteers play in the success of the STEMKAMP and other educational programs and initiatives .

    “It is such an amazing opportunity for these students,” said Barnes-Williams. “Being able to meet people who have had that kind of experience opens up a world of possibilities for them and gives them something to strive for.”

    Barnes-Williams also mentioned her role in maintaining community engagement for the base and local schools.

    “The outpouring of support we get from Airmen, volunteers, and the entire Seymour Johnson Air Force Base community is huge,” said Barnes-Williams. “My role is to make sure there's a connection with the school and the base. whenever schools reach out to me to do a tour or event on the base, I make sure that happens and that it is followed through to the end.”

    The STEMKAMP is a great way to ensure Seymour Johnson continues collaborating with the community, Barnes-Williams said. Having the opportunity to meet and work alongside engineers and aviators from around the Air Force can provide a memorable experience that further inspires students to pursue STEM careers.

    To learn more about the STEMKAMP and programs like it as well as volunteer opportunities 4FW Public Affairs at or Cristy Barnes-Williams 919.722.5810


    Date Taken: 06.14.2023
    Date Posted: 06.17.2023 09:50
    Story ID: 447465

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