AUSTIN, Texas (NNS) -- Sailors from the Austin area volunteered their time and professional knowledge to help the Austin Children's Museum show boys and girls the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during Austin Navy Week, March 21.
STEM is a nationwide initiative aimed at elevating interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics among children.
"It's a great opportunity we have with the children here at the museum, we've got possible future aviators here, and it's awesome to get them excited about this," said Lt. Michael Lynch, Training Squadron (VT) 31. "It's important to get them interested in science because it's something that will serve them in their future."
Lynch was joined by hospitalmen from Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, along with Naval Operational Support Center (NOSC) Austin, and Naval Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio, Sailors who teamed up to show museum visitors the everyday application of STEM in their Navy careers.
The Sailors at the museum facilitated this learning opportunity through questions and answer sessions, and static displays related to their work in the Navy. The hospitalmen brought anatomy graphics and a model skeleton stand to show. Lynch brought some of his pilot gear, including his helmet and let the kids at the event try it on.
There were hands on interactive activities as well; Sailors helped kids make paper airplanes and gave them crayons so they could draw and color their ideas about these subjects.
The mission of the Austin Children's Museum is to create innovative learning experiences for children and their families, and equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers. The museum thought that having Sailors show how areas of STEM are relative to something unique like Navy career fields tied in well to the museum's objectives.
"They're making airplanes and learning about life from people who actually participate in that in real life, so it's a great experience to learn from professionals and kind of see what they can become," said Kaitlin Moon, Austin Children's Museum gallery manager. "It's awesome to have outside experts come in and share their knowledge with our guests, you all are great role models."
The Navy is leading efforts to reduce energy consumption and achieve energy independence. By sparking children's interest in STEM, the Navy is also helping ensure that its future Sailors will be the type of people who can competitively address subjects such as energy.
Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. For more information about the 19 upcoming Navy Weeks scheduled for this year and the different events that will accompany them log onto www.navyweek.org.
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.