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Marines Show Students Robotics Are The 'Bomb'
by USMC Pfc. Christopher Johns - April 1, 2012

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Sgt. Ryan Manke, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a McMinnville, Ore., native, speaks about the Mk 3 Mod. 0, a robot used to disable or relocate explosives during a robotics tournament at Bernardo Heights High School in San Diego, March 20, 2012. The Marines, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., presented three machines to students ranging from kindergarten to high schoolers taking part in the robotics program. Photo by USMC Pfc. Christopher Johns
Sgt. Ryan Manke, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a McMinnville, Ore., native, speaks about the Mk 3 Mod. 0, a robot used to disable or relocate explosives during a robotics tournament at Bernardo Heights High School in San Diego, March 20, 2012. The Marines, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., presented three machines to students ranging from kindergarten to high schoolers taking part in the robotics program. Photo by USMC Pfc. Christopher Johns

 SAN DIEGO (3/20/2012) – Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., demonstrated robotic technology to children from Poway Unified School District at Bernardo Heights High School in San Diego, March 20.

The Marines set up the demonstration to show children in the robotics program what their interests could possibly turn into later.

“We gave the students a small capability brief and some insights into the platforms we use,” said Capt. Erin Roush, the EOD officer-in-charge with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a Denver native. “We told them about how we use [the robots] for our job. [We] also gave them some motivation and ideas about what robotics can do to either further their careers or for application later on in life.”

The Marines presented each of the three robots to students ranging from kindergarten
to high schoolers taking part in the robotics program.

“The reason they do this is for science, technology, engineering and math,” said Roush. “They call it the S.T.E.M. Program, which doesn't just advance [the students'] skills in those areas, but it allows for learning leadership as well, which is key.”

The Marines brought in the Mk 3 Mod. 0 Remote Ordnance Neutralization System, which is used for stateside missions. The Marines also showed the students the Mk 2 “Talon” and the PackBot Tactical Robot, all designed to assist EOD technicians with public safety endeavors to show the students what robotics benefits outside of hobbies.

“It gives [the students] a chance to see the end user, and see what can materialize out of those years of hard work that they put into something,” said Roush. “It might seem fun to them now, but it has a real-world application, especially in the world of public safety and the military.”

After the brief was completed, the students flooded around Marines and machines to see how the machines could move up-close. Once finished looking over the EOD robots, the students watched as robotics teams from all the schools in the district competed with their student-built robots against one another.

“The kids were pretty excited to see some of the equipment we use,” said Sgt. Charles Huntley, an EOD technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a Glendale, Ariz., native. “[The students] were definitely very excited to get their hands on them, and we were pretty happy to let them do that.”

After the event was over, the EOD Marines packed up the equipment for display to head home, having shown the students there is something they can do with the hobby they hold dear. Even if students of Poway Unified School District are only learning for fun now, with hard work, and dedication, they can make products that the Marine Corps could use to keep the public and America safe.

More photos available below

By USMC Pfc. Christopher Johns
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2012

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