SAN DIEGO – Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific, its headquarters and partner program executive office hosted a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) event for the workforce and their family members, July 28.
SSC Pacific along with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) headquarters and the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) hosted the STEM event called “Kids to Work Day” on multiple Navy bases in San Diego. The event involved multiple demonstrations in several locations including SSC Pacific topside, SSC Pacific bayside and SPAWAR near downtown San Diego.
“As technical professionals, we have a responsibility and obligation to introduce the world of [STEM] to future generations,” said Darlene Worsley, Kids to Work Day implementation planning team (IPT) lead and SSC Pacific electronics engineer, Link-16 IPT lead. “It was an honor and a privilege to be able to coordinate such a collaborative event, as well as continuously serve our nation, SSC Pacific and the fleet.”
SPAWAR hosted the Graphical Data Fusion System-Trailored Sensor Platform (GDFS-TSP), models of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and nanosatellites, and a cyber warrior game that tests the cyber knowledge of kids and parents. SSC Pacific brought some of its most popular demonstrations to SPAWAR such as its interactive STEM demonstrations, a separate Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality (BEMR) lab, a 3-D printing technology lab and a meteorology and oceanography display.
SSC Pacific hosted interactive demonstrations at various locations including its annual Robosub competition at the Navy’s TRANSDEC (transducer evaluation center) pool, primary BEMR lab, GunnAR augmented reality weapon simulator, MobileLand mobile gadget lab, the IMPACT autonomous vehicle control simulator and many more.
“We think it’s important to get kids thinking about new technology and ways they can be used for problem solving. That’s what STEM is all about,” said Lt. Clay Greunke, SPAWAR Innovation Lab. During the event Greunke showed kids and parents scanning technology he has been testing to help make parts for equipment on ships and aircraft.
Some attendees participated in a scavenger hunt for selected demonstrations using an interactive map incorporating augmented reality (AR). By scanning the map with their smartphones, participants could select from any one of 11 featured demonstrations that pop off the page using the smartphone application. The augmented images linked to information about each demonstration. The AR map showed the kids and parents where the demos were located, including those located at SPAWAR.
Kids also had the opportunity to become “cyber warriors” by visiting the Securing Our eCity Foundation (SOeCity) cyber booth staffed by representatives from PEO C4I and SOeCity volunteers. Visitors to the booth could pick up information about how to navigate the internet safely and spin a large wheel of subjects to test their knowledge of online behavior.
“In general, kids of all ages were fairly knowledgeable of some cybersecurity concepts, they really seemed to like discussing the answers and were very open to learning more,” said Craig Hardin, PEO C4I cyber booth volunteer and support for the PEO C4I cybersecurity director.
Sailors from the SPAWAR Chief Petty Officers Association and SPAWAR First Class Petty Officers Association (FCPOA) hosted a cookout and activities for the kids between visiting the various demonstrations. “It was a pleasure helping out, I enjoyed it,” said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW) Yanda-Kalie Edwards, SPAWAR FCPOA president.
SPAWAR, SSC Pacific, SSC Atlantic and PEO C4I host and support several STEM events each year to inspire young minds to pursue careers in STEM. Most recently SSC Atlantic sponsored two STEM events in Norfolk, Virginia where kids in grades 7th through 9th grade learned from various experts about STEM subjects over a one to four day period. The U.S. Navy supports STEM outreach through its Office of Naval Research STEM education and workforce initiatives.
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