BREMERTON, Wash (NNS) -- Five Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) volunteered their time to talk to students and judge 60 science fair projects at Naval Avenue Elementary School (NAES) in Bremerton March 2.
The projects ranged from how mold grew on slices of cheese to why diet soda explodes when candy mints are added to it.
"I thought (the projects) were really well thought out," said Fire Controlman 3rd Class (AW/SW) Christian Blanco. "I was really impressed by the students' work."
"You could tell the students put a lot of effort into their projects," said Senior Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate (AW/SW) Jeffrey Borja.
The volunteers spent over two hours talking to the students and judging their projects. Each Sailor had different reasons to volunteer for the trip, but each one said they enjoyed their time spent with the students.
"I'm a geographical bachelor," Borja said. "My 13-year-old son lives in Florida, and I really miss him. I remember helping him with his seventh-grade science project and how excited he was for it to be judged. It's a good feeling to get out and to become a part of the community."
"My oldest son is seven," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Keashia Garner. "He's very into science, so it's nice to come out and see what students in this area are doing. It's great to know that the state of Washington really cares about what its students are learning. I try to volunteer as much as possible."
The Sailors were not the only ones who enjoyed their time at the elementary school.
"I think (the Sailors) were awesome, and I really liked their uniforms," said Shemira Washington, a fourth grader at NAES.
"The children really loved the Sailors," said Julie Wasserburger, the school's librarian. "I think coming in their (service dress blue) uniforms really showed the kids that the community cares about them."
Community Relations (COMREL) projects give Sailors a chance to represent their command and the Navy in a positive light. In addition to benefiting the Navy's image, the COMREL benefits Sailors as well as the students they met.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln's Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.