NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIVISION POINT MUGU, Calif. - “I want to work here and invent new technology for the military,” said Camille Michaleak, a fifth-grade student from the Santa Rosa Technology Magnet School during a tour here, June 6.
NAWCWD Range Department Director Terry Clark greeted 66 students outside the Clifton Evans Electronic Warfare Laboratory at Point Mugu.
“These tours are incredibly important to open up kids to what we do at Weapons Division,” Clark said. “The things they see today could give them a direction to pursue in school. They learn they might need to add an extra math class to become an engineer.”
Students then met Jennifer Koch, an electronics engineer, and learned about the capabilities that are available in the electronic combat simulated environment lab. Koch also gave students a chance to sit in a flight simulator, and demonstrated how important training is for pilots and designers of the unmanned systems and how changing something a centimeter in the lab can cause a major movement in flight applications.
“It is amazing for the kids to see how engineering and technology are used in real-life applications,” said Laura Filgas, fifth-grade teacher at the school. “It shows these fifth-graders that studying and working hard can pay off in the future and you can have a great career doing what you love.”
The Santa Rosa Technology Magnet School provides an education program that integrates technology into its curriculum. Touring NAWCWD Point Mugu gave the students an opportunity to interact with people who have jobs that involve math and science.
“I am going to work for the military as an engineer,” said 10-year-old Jared Stout. “This place is awesome because it is a working military base and we get to see and touch real technology that soldiers are using. I am going to grow up and invent a working application of the ‘Iron Man’ suit for our American military.”
The EW team also opened up the joint electronic warfare effects laboratory for the students to view and operate a Raven (RQ-11B), an unmanned aerial system. The boys and girls were able to use military radios to transmit their voices over a radio frequency hardware-in-the-loop coaxial network to visualize how their voices appear on a frequency modulated signal with a spectrum analyzer.
“There is no greater feeling as an educator than seeing your students’ eyes open wide and realize that math and science are not just problems in a text book,” said Thomas Holtke, school principal. “I have a lot of very passionate students very excited about seeing how the people today think outside the box and how they calculate real-world problems that engineers face daily. We are extremely grateful to Weapons Division, the C-130 squadron and all the people involved in today's tour.”
Sailors with Fleet Logistics Squadron 55 (VR-55) greeted the students after they left the EW Lab. The sailors gave the kids a walking-tour of the VR-55 hanger and let them walk through the cockpit and belly of a C-130T.
“It was really cool meeting the pilot,” said 11 year-old Vivienne Carolan. “I am going to be a military pilot when I grow up. Planes are awesome, obviously, but really it is a lot of responsibility to fly an expensive plane safely and take people where they need to go and that’s why I want to fly. Today is also awesome because it’s my birthday and this is the best birthday present ever.”
Students’ eyes widened as the engines of a C-130 ignited and it took to the sky.
“It’s been a great day and I got to see real technology the military uses,” said 11-year-old Camille Michaleak. “I am going to study harder so I can invent for the military and create the best technology.”
The students expressed their appreciation before leaving Point Mugu.
“Thank you engineers,” screamed 66 students as they left the EW lab.