More than 350 students from Central, Marissa, West, and Mascoutah Middle Schools attended Scott Air Force Base’s first-ever STEM Day Sept. 29.
“The purpose was to showcase how Scott Airmen implement the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics on a daily basis to Enable Rapid Global Mobility,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sean Cook, 375th Communication Support Squadron.
The day included demos on cyber hacking, live explosives, taser usage, aeromedical evacuation, radiology, patient transportation, medical equipment repair, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive detection. Additionally, the students learned about drones, developing mobile applications, virtual reality games, the C-21, field response, weather, explosive ordinance devices, cyber security, and video game hosting.
Staff Sgt. Evelyn Hernandez, 375th CSPTS and a STEM Day co-coordinator, added, “We partnered with a variety of organizations on base for different displays so the students could see all the opportunities they have to use their STEM curriculum to experience what the Air Force has to offer.”
We want to be able to provide a spark in the students that will hopefully grow into a roaring fire as they grow older.
Senior Master Sgt. Sean Cook, 375th Communication Support Squadron
According to the U.S. Department of Education, STEM jobs are expected to increase by 14 percent overall. However, individually, the medical sciences are expected to rise by 36 percent; biomedical by 62 percent; mathematics will see a 16 percent rise; computer systems analysts 22 percent; and system software developers 32 percent.
Despite this increase in jobs, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. Only about half go on to pursue majors in STEM fields.
Hernandez said, “There’s a lot of misconceptions about if they are able to apply anything that they learn in school with what’s going on in the real world. I think this was a fantastic opportunity to get some students who may not have Air Force or military backgrounds and get them on base to see [that] what they are learning can actually be applied in the real world.”
Cook added, “We want to be able to provide a spark in the students that will hopefully grow into a roaring fire as they grow older. When I was in middle school, a long, long, time ago, I only cared about a school subject if I knew it had a practical application. We are showing the students [those] practical application[s] with this event.”
- Defense Information Systems Agency
- Air Mobility Command
- 932nd Maintenance Squadron
- AFSPC Cyberspace Support Squadron
- 837th Cyperspace Operations Squadron
- 345th Recruiting Squadron
- 375th Operations Group
- 375th Communication Support Squadron
- 375th Communications Squadron
- 375th Civil Engineer Squadron
- 375th Security Forces Squadron
- 375th Medical Support Squadron
- Missouri USO