ARLINGTON, Va.-Looking for something fun-and educational-to do with the kids this weekend? The Naval STEM Exposition has just what you're looking for. This free event will give local students the opportunity to engage and be inspired by all things naval STEM-or science, technology, engineering and math. The event will be held Sunday, May 15, 2016, from 1 to 5 p.m.at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
The expo, co-sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Navy League STEM Institute, is geared to students in grades six through 12. Along with offering attendees lots of hands-on activities, the Naval STEM Expo will provide middle and high school students an introduction to naval STEM careers and educational opportunities.
Nearly 40 exhibitors will be on-hand to offer information, displays and demonstrations. Among those companies will be Hydronalix, which will demo the acclaimed ONR-sponsored technology, EMILY.
EMILY— officially known as the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard — is a robotic lifeguard recently used to rescue nearly 300 Syrian migrants from drowning in the waters off the Greek island of Lesbos. Students can remotely pilot the robot in the water at the South Dock of the National Harbor pier between 1:30 p.m. and 4:40 p.m.
Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and speak with industry and sea service representatives.
One of those sea service representatives will be the self-described "Chief Mad Scientist of the Navy," Rear Adm. Mat Winter. Winter-ONR's chief of naval research, who also serves as the Naval STEM executive-will kick off the event at 1 p.m., when he will discuss the value of education and the need for a robust and diverse STEM-educated workforce.
"The Navy we know today-with autonomous systems, nuclear-powered ships and supersonic aircraft-has evolved over time from a fleet of sail and steam-powered ships," said Winter. "This evolution was made possible by the work of innovative scientists and engineers sponsored by the U.S. Navy. It is my goal to ensure this progress carries on for generations to come."
Among the many other things to do and see will be tours of the research vessel Sperry Star III , testing one's pilot capabilities in a number of flight simulators, and virtual reality activities.
Representatives from the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and naval-related industries will also be onsite to share their experiences and talk about STEM careers and the qualifications needed to pursue a variety of STEM jobs.
There is no charge to attend the event and a discounted parking rate of $10 will be available in the Gaylord Hotel's self-parking garage. To validate the parking stub for that rate, please bring it into the event.
To learn more about the STEM Expo or to register to attend, visit http://navyleague.org/stem/attendee.html.
Sierra Jones is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.