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STEAM event wows students with technology

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt

Maj. Keith Nordquist, United States Transportation Command strategic initiatives officer, explains 3D printing and the benefits it adds to the transportation community during the Spring STEAM Day, March 22, 2018 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The base hosted the event for local schools to encourage students to get active in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt)

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt

Students from local schools visit informational booths during the Spring STEAM Day, March 22, 2018 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. More than 300 students attended to learn about the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt)

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt

Senior Airman Erik Maxey, 375th Operations Support Squadron radar airfield and weather technician, explains aspects of his job to a group of students during the Spring STEAM Day, March 22, 2018 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The base hosted the event for local schools to encourage students to get active in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt)

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt

Members of the Cyber Support Squadron describe different ways remote controlled drones can be used to a group of students during the Spring STEAM Day, March 22, 2018 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The base hosted the event for local schools to encourage students to get active in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt)

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt

1st Lt. Kevin Hinz, 458th Airlift Squadron scheduling officer, explains the technical aspects of a C-21 to a group of students during STEAM Day March 22, 2018 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The base hosted the event for local schools to encourage students to get active in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Clayton Lenhardt)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — More than 300 students from six local schools got a first hand look at the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics areas of focus during Scott Air Force Base’s annual STEAM Day  March 22.

“Enforcing some of the critical STEAM principles will hopefully get people encouraged, young people encouraged to go into or explore those opportunities related to those fields of study,” said Capt. Daniel Esposito, 375th Communications Support Squadron director of operations and STEAM Day chairman.

The day highlights included demonstrations of 3D printing and how it relates to transportation by U.S. Transportation Command, a drone display and Wi-Fi cracking by the Cyber Support Squadron and an operations floor tour by the Defense Information Systems Agency, who also hosted half of the stations for the event.

Second Lt. Panupong Phongpitakvises, 375th CSPTS software service flight commander, hopes the booths and demonstrations will spark a new interest in the students.

“The students should be able to learn things they don't see daily in school,” said Phongpitakvises. “They might be really interested in it and they can in the future use it as a point of contact and just going to learn more about it.”

His hopes were echoed by members of the local schools.

“Just hearing some of these people talk would make me want to sign up for the military, just after seeing the things, the demonstrations they do,” said Vicki Norton, Smithton School principal. “I think it’s going to get some kids thinking and considering this as a career that maybe wouldn’t have.”