JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
Future engineers, scientists and inventors from local area schools filled the bay area of hangar three on March 9, 2023, for the 5th Annual Aerospace Summit.
Sponsored by the Patriots Training Technology Center, JBA’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math annual event is an opportunity for young students to learn about the many facets of aviation careers and operations while sparking curiosity with aircraft tours and exciting competitions.
JBA’s STEAM program has positively impacted more than 18,000 K-12 students since 2017 through events such as field trips to airshows, high school mentoring programs, participating as judges in local school science fairs and hosting the annual Aerospace Summit.
This year, multiple organizations were involved including NASA partners and other U.S. military branches such as the Army and Coast Guard.
“Our goal here today is to show you more about aviation and aerospace and that everyone from Army to Navy and even our civilian counterparts [have opportunities in aviation],” said U.S. Army Col. Louis Patrick Hawkins, 29th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade commander.
When opening remarks finished, students were broken up into groups to participate in 14 different workshops, each showing their unique involvement with the STEAM program. From air traffic control simulations to building military-grade ships and drone test flights, students had a multitude of careers to experience hands-on.
Tamilore Adebiyi, a Duval High School sophomore, commented, “Trying out the drone test definitely reconfirms that this is what I want to do coming out of high school.”
JBA’s STEAM program supports the Accelerate Change or Lose mentality and is just one of the many ways to be ready for tomorrow's challenges.
“The program allows us to garner potential student interest in military STEAM career fields,” said Kristofer Zimmerman, 316th Wing Community Planning Liaison and STEAM coordinator. “In order to be ready for today’s workforce development challenges and tomorrow’s missions, we need to take the initiative now.”
After a brief lunch break, students participated in competitions to put their drone flying, computer flight simulator, and air traffic control skills to the test. Winners were announced at the end of the event by U.S. Air Force Col. Todd E. Randolph, 316th Wing and installation commander.
After announcing winners and thanking all the volunteers for contributing to the event this year, Randolph left the students with a few final words. “Be bold, be innovative and be creative!”