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Bringing Math To Life
by Naval Facilities ESCEAC Europe Africa Central
March 1, 2021

One truly unique experience is often all it takes to launch a young student on a trajectory that leads to their life-long career choice. Hands on experience with a transportable recompression chamber system definitely falls under the “unique” experience category.

Ten high school juniors and seniors of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Naples Naval Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program were able to do just that during a recent field trip to Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy. The students met with members of Underwater Construction Team ONE’s Construction Dive Detachment Bravo (UCT 1 CDD/B), led by Lt. Pete Schmillen and Chief Builder Craig Claudio.

February 5, 2021 - Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason Reynolds, assigned to Underwater Construction Team ONE (UCT 1), briefs students from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Naples STEM program on underwater construction equipment and procedures. The Expeditionary Engineering Business Line at Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Europe Africa Central organized this inaugural event in coordination with volunteers from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. (U.S. Navy photo my Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)
February 5, 2021 - Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason Reynolds, assigned to Underwater Construction Team ONE (UCT 1), briefs students from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Naples STEM program on underwater construction equipment and procedures. The Expeditionary Engineering Business Line at Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Europe Africa Central organized this inaugural event in coordination with volunteers from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. (U.S. Navy photo my Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)

The Navy’s STEM program was developed to inspire, engage and educate the next generation of scientists and engineers, technology professionals and medical professionals. Oftentimes a difficult task for teachers to accomplish with students sitting at their desks.

"As a mathematics teacher, it can be challenging to find ways to bring the mathematics to life in the classroom,” said Linda Singletary, an Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus and Advanced Placement Calculus teacher at NMHS and lead chaperone for the ten junior and seniors along for the event. “So, I was thrilled when Mr. Shepard and Lt. Roster reached out to see if we were interested in opportunities to bring real-world experiences to our students at Naples Middle-High School (NMHS). The demonstration given by the ocean engineering team was not only exciting for the students but educational. The students came back to campus and shared their experiences with their peers and are looking forward to more events in the future.”

James Shepard, STEM Program Coordinator for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Europe Africa Central (NAVFAC EURAFCENT) and Lt. Michael Roster, his assistant, reached out to Singletary to make it happen.

"This year we established a STEM outreach program to inspire, engage and educate K-12 students and teachers through hands-on classroom events, field events, career discussion and mentorship,” said Stewart. “Our Command is filled with highly qualified and motivated volunteers excited to contribute to future planned events.”

February 5, 2021 - One of the students with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Naples STEM program, asks Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason Reynolds, assigned to Underwater Construction Team ONE (UCT 1), a question about the bathycorrometer and ultrasonic thickness gauges used to assess material condition underwater. (U.S. Navy photo my Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)
February 5, 2021 - One of the students with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Naples STEM program, asks Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jason Reynolds, assigned to Underwater Construction Team ONE (UCT 1), a question about the bathycorrometer and ultrasonic thickness gauges used to assess material condition underwater. (U.S. Navy photo my Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brianna K. Green)

NAVFAC manages the planning, design and construction of shore facilities for the U.S. Navy around the world and are always looking for enthusiastic engineers, designers, architects, tradesmen and dozens of other technical specialties to join the team. Partnering with students and teachers to develop opportunities for inspiration is a natural activity but it isn’t just the students who benefit as Roster pointed out.

"We can't imagine a better kick start to the program than this month's Ocean Engineering engagement,” said Roster. “The Sailors from Underwater Construction Team ONE are stand out professionals with a remarkable mission and the DODEA Naples students were engaged and optimistic about future events.”

UCT 1 is a subordinate command of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force, executing construction and engineering projects under Navy Expeditionary Combat Force Europe and Africa/Task Force 68 (NECFEURAF/TF 68). UCT is a specially trained and equipped unit within the Navy Expeditionary Combat Force that constructs, inspects, repairs, and maintains ports, ocean facilities, underwater systems, and general maritime infrastructure.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) manages the planning, design, construction, contingency engineering, real estate, environmental, and public works support for U.S. Navy shore facilities around the world. NAVFAC provides the Navy's forces with the operating, expeditionary, support and training bases that it needs.

NAVFAC is a global organization with an annual volume of business in excess of $18 billion. As a major Navy Systems Command and a member of the Navy and Marine Corps team, NAVFAC delivers timely and effective facilities engineering solutions worldwide.

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