Team Members from Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst take part in Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum

Team Members from Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst take part in Kids Week at the Intrepid Museum. The trio from Lakehurst helped visitors of all ages make more than 800 paper airplanes during the event. 

Lakehurst participates in Kids Week on USS Intrepid

Representatives from Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst made the short trip across the Hudson to show their work to a new generation of scientists and engineers at Kids Week hosted by the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier Museum in New York City from Feb. 22-24.      

Set up in the ship's hangar deck, the event was a chance for children of all ages to learn more about the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) through a variety of exhibits and demonstrations. The Lakehurst Team guided students through a paper airplane build process, with the wrinkle of installing a centerline straw in the body and a soft ear plug for the nosecone. After the design phase, the students used compressed air to launch their aircraft and see if their design could hit a designated target, simulating the steam catapults used to launch planes on aircraft carriers.  

"Events like these are so important for aspiring engineers and scientists. When I was a child, it was museums and activities like Kids Week that ultimately helped me discover my passion for engineering and science", Nicholas Lorch, a mechanical engineer, said. "Now, as an engineer myself, volunteering for this opportunity was that much more impactful, knowing so many of these kids may have the same amazing relationship with STEM that I'm lucky to have now."   

Kristina Jones, a mechanical engineer, said the event was "bustling and energized with enthusiastic participants as the trio spent three full days helping visitors from 2- to 75-year-olds make and test their planes. Whether they were young or young at heart, Jones said it was a great event to be part of.     

"The best is when a kid would get really into re-designing and re-engineering their plane. We had some who stayed for over an hour or would leave and come back multiple times throughout the day," Jones said. "By the end of the event, we made over 800 airplanes! I hope the children and families who visited our area got a glimpse of our work and felt inspired to learn more about engineering."    

"The kids were ecstatic when they realized they had just built an airplane with a rocket. They often ran back in line to fly their plane one more time, making modifications between flights", Albert Martin, an electrical engineer, said. "It is an amazing experience to show each child their potential and get them into engineering and building."    

Other exhibitors gave the students a chance to see a robotic dog, get up close to a baby kangaroo, and conduct a wide range of scientific experiments.     

The week-long event was also a chance for students and exhibitors to learn more about the USS Intrepid (CV-11) and its time in active service while exploring a wide range of aircraft on the flight deck and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. 

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