Central High School students, Drew Carroll and Nick Montalto, under the supervision of agriculture teacher, Ms. Laura Williford, participated in an inaugural Science, Technology Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics Challenge (STEAM) sponsored by the Air Force Reserve Command’s Directorate of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection on November 8 at the Museum of Aviation. The STEAM Challenge aims to foster a culture of innovation in critical career fields within the Air Force Reserve to better protect our nation from future threats.
During the half-day event held at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia, students designed and constructed a paper rocket powered by compressed air. In addition, they functionally tested their creations and mathematical skills by launching the rockets to designated targets. Both Central High School students were awarded first place in the message portion of the competition which emphasized the addition of the arts to the STEM initiative. Drew and Nick received military challenge coins bearing insignias of Robins Air Force Base and the Society of American Military Engineers.
Drew Carroll and Nick Montalto spent the continuation of the day meeting with other engineering representatives, including a civil engineer from the Air Force Base Reserve Command focusing on environmental restoration as well as a mechanical engineer from Clark Nexsen, the firm responsible for infrastructures across the United States. Both students are interested in pursuing engineering careers following graduation.
“By partnering with local schools, we can reach youth and enhance their knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, arts, and math, and hopefully, inspire them to pursue careers in those fields and potentially cultivate talented future Reserve Citizen Airmen,” said Col Jim Hickman, HQ AFRC Associate Director of Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection and President of the local Society of American Military Engineers organization. “Encouraging growth in those fields and igniting a spark in those students’ mind will bolster the future defense of our nation, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
“There is a nationwide movement to add the arts to the STEM initiative because it is vital to bring about innovation,” said Hickman. “All things science, technology, engineering and mathematics are truly inspired by some version of the arts. Many students are intimidated by STEM. We want to show them that they can learn to use artistic talents to grow and develop in STEM areas.”
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