Local high school students explore STEM

By Airman 1st Class Zachary Martyn | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | April 16, 2018


High school students from the local community visited the joint base on April 11 to see firsthand how the military utilizes science, technology, math and engineering every day.


The fifth annual STEM Exposition saw participation from nearly 360 students involved in STEM classes at their schools. The annual field trip is intended to showcase the world of STEM, whether directly military related or not, and give the students an idea of some of the military career fields modern technology has made available to them.


The joint base is home to many career fields directly involved in STEM and innovation. During the expo, Sailors talked about the Naval Air Systems Command mission of innovation and research related to the electromagnetic launch and arrest systems utilized on modern aircraft carriers.


The students visited the 305th Maintenance Squadron Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory and acquired an idea of some of the technical work required to keep aircraft flying safely.


“Our goal is to engage the students and keep it hands-on for them while relating everything back to STEM,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Chase Morelock, Tricare Operations and Patient Administration flight commander, who put the STEM Exposition together. “There’s an avenue in the armed forces for them to get into the careers they want.”


The students had the opportunity to tour a 305th Air Mobility Wing C-17 Globemaster III static display where they learned about the aircraft’s robust cargo handling, transportation and medical evacuation capabilities.


On the other side of the installation, students toured the 621st Contingency Response Wing warehouse. Security Forces Airmen set up a booth where the high schoolers had a chance to look through modern rifle scopes. Many of the students were familiar with the scopes and other military technology only from video games.


“We’re very fortunate to be a school district close to the joint base and we’re happy to be able to take advantage of the STEM Expo,” said Matthew Konowicz, Northern Burlington Country Regional School District director of instructions. “The biggest take away is for students to appreciate all the career opportunities that exist in the armed forces.”