Promoting STEM To Students At Nashville Navy Week
by U.S. Navy Rebecca Eckhoff, Fleet Survey Team
September 12, 2019
Fleet Survey Team (FST) made its mark on Music City June 3-7, 2019 shining the spotlight on STEM careers in the U.S. Navy, visiting more than 400 children during Nashville Navy Week.
Fleet Survey Team Sailors quiz John Overton High School STEM campers with trivia questions following their presentation on near-shore hydrographic surveys on June 4, 2019 during Nashville Navy Week. (U.S. Navy photo by Rebecca Eckhoff, FST)
The Navy’s experts in conducting near-shore hydrographic surveys, FST Sailors spoke to various groups of Boy Scouts, STEM campers and Adventure Science Center visitors about the importance of their mission to enable safe and effective maritime navigation for naval and joint forces.
At each of 10 events in which FST participated, dozens of eager children climbed into the driver’s seats of two Rapid Littoral Survey Vehicles (RLSVs), commercial jet skis outfitted with specialized sonar equipment, which FST brought along to Navy Week. The kids also had the opportunity to see the command’s newest survey asset, the Teledyne Z-boat unmanned surface vessel, which can be remotely operated from ship or shore to provide detailed and accurate data in water too shallow for standard survey vessels.
The command’s interactive display allowed hundreds of children and adults to get a close look at the scientific instrumentation used by the “Bottom Mappers” to chart littoral zones (waters within 25 miles of the coastline), supporting safe ship to shore movements by amphibious forces.
Chief Aerographer’s Mate Chris Rondeau explains to children visiting the Adventure Science Center on June 7, 2019 how Fleet Survey Team remotely operated its Z-boat unmanned surface vessel while conducting near-shore hydrographic surveys. (U.S. Navy photo by Rebecca Eckhoff, FST)
FST maintains a 96-hour globally deployable team capable of conducting navigation surveys in support of humanitarian aid/disaster relief efforts or other emergent tasking. The command was instrumental in charting natural disasters such as hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike in the Gulf of Mexico, the Haiti earthquake in 2010, hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012, and Super Typhoon Souldelor in Saipan in 2015.
FST is a rapid-response team with the capabilities to conduct quick-turnaround hydrographic surveys anywhere in the world. Comprised of approximately 65 military and civilian members, FST is subordinate command of the Naval Oceanographic Office located at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
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