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Navy Medicine STEM Outreach Workshop

  POSTED ON: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:00 AM by Donna Weber

On August 16, 2017, USNA STEM Center hosted a workshop at the U.S. Naval Academy on how to engage your community in STEM outreach. Twenty-three military and civilian members of from various medical commands within the U.S. Navy came from Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington State to attend the training. The workshop was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with support from the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED).

In the morning, the attendees were introduced to hands-on activities that they would present to 100 children from grades K-8 at the Billy the Kid Youth Center for military families, located at NSA Annapolis. The activities centered around robotics, electricity, hydraulics, biomechanics, heart and lung function, chemical reactions, sound, and optics.

The children were enamored by the activities and were probably surprised at all of the knowledge they acquired during the fun. One girl gave a high five to Layvon Washington, ONR support, after he walked her through the steps to move a hydraulic arm to lift a wooden block successfully. There was a lot of ducking as the children waved a Whirly Tube in the air to hear various sounds created from movement of the air in the tube. They were all impressed to see an actual sheep’s heart and learn about the various parts of a heart and their functions.

When the attendees returned to the Naval Academy, discussion ensued regarding the logistics of creating a STEM event and feedback from experiences at the morning event. Attendees explored additional activities including how an infectious disease spreads, sensor technology, optics, and robotics. Participants then worked in small groups on developing new modules in relevant topic areas including infectious disease, 3D imaging, artificial limbs, gastroenterology, and vision.

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