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5th Graders Inspired, Educated At Naval Station Norfolk's STEM Day
by U.S. Navy Max Lonzanida
Naval History and Heritage Command
January 20, 2019

Naval Station Norfolk hosted about 2,500 eager and excited fifth grade students from Norfolk Public Schools on October 19, 2018 for its 2nd Annual STEM Day. The engaging learning environment featured static displays from over 15 area commands, and started at around 10am when buses filled with students converged in front of the carrier piers.

Thereafter, students excitedly walked in groups to get an up-close look at static displays. Carrier based aircraft were on-display, along with rescue vehicles from Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s Fire and Emergency Services. Students also had the opportunity to go aboard the USS George H.W Bush (CVN-77), a Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier, and the USS James E. Williams (DDG-95), an Arleigh-Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyer.

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Public Affairs Staff Members from the U.S Navy’s Research Laboratory provide a hands-on learning opportunity for 5th grade students from Norfolk Public Schools during Naval Station Norfolk’s 2nd Annual STEM Day (U.S. Navy Photo by Max Lonzanida)
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The event was geared towards educating, inspiring, and connecting students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). An up-close look at some of the aircraft, equipment, vessels and vehicles on display showcased the requirements for STEM concepts.

According to an interview with Captain Brad Rosen, Commanding Officer at Naval Station Norfolk conducted by WAVY-TV 10... “Virtually every single job in the Navy involves computers and other technologies and we’re very excited to show that off to future Sailors from Norfolk.”

In-front of the carrier piers were exhibitors who provided hands-on activities for the crush of 5th grade students. Exhibitors included the U.S Navy’s Research Lab, who had a static display of the Vanguard 1 satellite; the Portsmouth Children’s Museum, Naval Information Forces Command (NAVINFOR), Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s Environmental Program, and the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Students rotated through the exhibits and had the opportunity to try out some of the many STEM concepts in the immersive and engaging environment.

Museum Educators Joseph Miechle and Zach Smyers, both from the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, were also on-hand armed with tuning forks and tubs of water to demonstrate concepts of sound and sonar. Staff members did their best amid Friday’s crush of 5th graders.

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5th Grade Students from Norfolk Public Schools receive on-hand armed with tuning forks and tubs of water to demonstrate concepts of sound and sonar during Naval Station Norfolk’s 2nd Annual STEM Day. (.U.S Navy Photo by Max Lonzanida)
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While the National Park Service touts its Every Kid in a Park program to get fourth grade students and their families to experience the outdoors and wildlife dependent recreation; staff members from the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and other exhibitors touted nearly every 5th grader from Norfolk Public Schools to experience Science, Technology, Engineering and Math during this annual event.

About the Hampton Roads Naval Museum:

The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is one of ten Navy museums that are operated by the Naval History & Heritage Command. It celebrates the long history of the U.S. Navy in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia and is co-located with Nauticus in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Admission to the museum is free, simply by-pass the ticket line and take the stairs or elevator to the museum on the second deck. The museum hosts a robust educational program for area schools and commands, with free educational programs to area schools aligned with state curriculum standards, a travelling sea chest program, a premier Lego outreach program, and historical presentations for area commands. The museum is also host to a robust volunteer corps, who serve as docents, support special events, and assist in museum archives. The museum also proudly hosts military ceremonies, such as re-enlistments, retirements, and promotions for area commands aboard the U.S.S Wisconsin and in the museum’s gallery.

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