News from the STEM Office  


Overnight on USS Intrepid

Posted on: October 29, 2013 08:00 EDT by Sarah Durkin

As the clock approached midnight, middle school students onboard the USS Intrepid were putting the finishing touches on their handmade catapults or holding their breath as they waited to see if the boat they designed would sink or float.

These young students were participating in activities led by USNA STEM midshipmen and faculty at Operation Slumber. This exciting event consisted of an overnight visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum docked at Pier 86 on the Hudson River in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. 

USNA STEM and the Admissions Office brought two Naval Academy faculty and six midshipmen to the Intrepid to support Operation Slumber on Saturday, October 26, 2013. The faculty and mids led 150 students from eight New York City schools in various hands-on Navy-themed STEM activities late into the night.

Students learned about the catapults that launch jets off of aircraft carriers, and designed their own miniature catapults out of everyday materials such as spoons and rubber bands. They compared the precision and handling of robotic arms that run on electricity vs. hydraulics, which operates machinery on ships. Students discovered how enormous aircraft carriers like the Intrepid are able to float, through investigating buoyancy and hull design in the process of creating their own boats out of aluminum foil.

The event onboard the Intrepid was a great success, inspiring the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math.

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