NAWCWD teams up with local high school to showcase STEM
Burroughs High School students in Ridgecrest, California, got a taste of what STEM can mean for them in the future during the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Day presented by Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division professionals at BHS on Nov. 8.
Students rotated between stations featuring 15-minute, interactive presentations highlighting NAWCWD capabilities. They could make their own ice cream, check out parachute gear, or even find out how fast they can throw a baseball using the same Doppler radar that tracks bullets on the ranges.
“I see a lot of excitement when they see the actual data from their throw,” said Jordan Olson, an electronics engineer with NAWCWD’s Time-Space-Position Information and Telemetry Group. “I think it’s definitely exciting for them, and so is letting them know a bunch of young people can work on the base and have a good time.”
NAWCWD presentations showcased the Sidewinder missile, parachutes, radar systems, quick reaction capability, cyber security, explosive ordnance disposal, and geothermal energy technologies. There were also non-NAWCWD presentations, including Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and the Bureau of Land Management.
Presenters also reminded students of the importance of hard work and a STEM education.
“The hopes are that we can fundamentally move somebody forward into this arena and get them educated so they can come in to help us help the warfighter,” said Robert Obergfell with the Quick Reaction Capability Office. “In some cases that works out; you see people who are truly interested in it. Often the groups will move away, and you get a couple of them that come back and want to ask those questions.”