Job Shadow Day provides new skills for youth
May 14, 2012
HOHENFELS, Germany -- The Joint Multinational Readiness Center Aviation Observer Controller Team, The Falcons, opened the airfield to students from Hohenfels Elementary School as part of a new take on Job Shadow Day, last month.
"We wanted to welcome the community and the youth and expose them to the importance of education -- math, science and English -- and see how that applies to some of the jobs that they might be interested in," said Sgt. First Class Donald B. Mathews, Operations NCO. "Future aviators, air traffic controllers, all these jobs stress the importance of education. We're here to have fun today, but also with the underlying message that school is important."
Divided into small groups, students from third through sixth grade toured seven stations around the airfield, where subject matter experts explained various jobs and duties of the Falcon team.
"We wanted to give them an idea of what we, as Falcons, do on a daily basis," said Sgt. Jordan E. Schultz.
Schulz and several pilots shared details on the Lakota LUH-72 helicopters, helping children don flight vests and helmets, and even climb into the cockpits to try out the controls.
Sgt. First Class Christopher B. Rowley headed up the MEDEVAC section, where volunteers got some hands-on experience with emergency medical techniques.
"I show them how to relieve blockage with the Heimlich maneuver, show them how to do a little CPR," Rowley said. "We've got some injuries represented on these CPR dummies and we're showing them some basic bandaging, as well."
Many children seemed particularly impressed with the Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) on display especially when Spc. Jonathan Pacheco drew a parallel between his job and something most youth today are very familiar with.
"Basically this is a gigantic computer that we can fly," Pacheco said. "It's a multimillion dollar aircraft in control of what's pretty much a Playstation controller."
At the "Humvee" station (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) Sgt. First Class Everett E. Colby demonstrated communications technology, and students took turns speaking to each other via radio in three different vehicles.
"We also have a radio up in Flight Operations, and these two (Humvees) are mimicking aircraft. So they're talking as if they're trying to take off or go on a mission and flight operations is returning with dialog," Colby explained.
On the other end, students in "The Tower" learned safety procedures, and how to communicate via colored floodlights with aircraft that may have lost their radio.
"The tower was my favorite because you could communicate with other students," said fifth-grader Isaiah Davis-Reed.
Other stations included aircraft maintenance, refueling vehicles, and the Fire Departments brand new crash/fire rescue vehicle.
"We wanted to do something different this year," said Sharron McKinney, School Liaison officer. "Some of the questions I heard the kids asking, you could tell they were totally engaged."
"They were so psyched that they got to do it," agreed fifth-grade teacher Jeanette Fry "It was the absolutely most incredible experience these kids could have gone through."