News: ‘Strike Force’ soldiers take part in school science fair
Story by Sgt. Brandon Bednarek
FORT BLISS, Texas - Soldiers from the 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, continued their support of local communities Nov. 10, by volunteering time over Veteran’s Day weekend to help judge science fair projects at Carroll T. Welch Intermediate School in Horizon City, Texas.
Working in pairs, the group of 18 “Strike Force” soldiers rotated through a variety of project categories ranging from chemistry to Earth, life, physical and consumer sciences. Judges evaluated the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade experiments in relation to the scientific method, creativity, presentation, and overall display appearance.
“We have never had this kind of support, so I am so excited,” said Norma Estrada-Keith, the Clint Independent School District’s elementary math and science coordinator, who has been helping educate young minds for 21 years.
“We usually need 30 volunteers and it’s hard to get that number on a Saturday,” she continued. “I love that the soldiers were on time. So many times we work with other organizations and they come in late and [that] pushes back the start time of our event.”
For students, the science fair represents a nine-month culmination of hard work that also serves as a performance indicator in learning and prepares them for future academic success, said Estrada-Keith.
“This is really prepping them to go to middle school and be well versed in what they want to do,” she said. “In middle school they’ll have the chance to compete in the regional, state, or international science fairs.”
The yearly event offered students and soldiers an opportunity to interact with one another and share an educational experience, which provided some Soldiers with a nostalgic flashback to their earlier years.
“When I was little, we didn’t do half the stuff these kids are doing now,” said Sgt. Holly Scott, a medic assigned to the battalion’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company. “It’s cool to see how different their experiments are and how much further they go with them.”
Scott, who regularly volunteers during partners-in-education activities, said the most enjoyable part of the day was witnessing the student’s excitement about their projects and science.
“I really enjoy being around kids and helping out the community,” said Scott. “They support us, so it’s only right to do our part in giving back to them.”