By 2nd Lt. Kristin Arteaga, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs April 21, 2017
MILILANI, Hawaii -- When the school bell rings on Friday afternoons, students typically sprint out the door, thrilled to get their weekend started but for the students of Mililani Middle School, staying a little late on a Friday means an opportunity to learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
On April 7, for a second year in a row, Soldiers from the 65th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were invited to showcase their equipment to the community.
This year, the Soldiers of Companies A and B demonstrated the capabilities of RQ-11 Raven Unmanned Aircraft System, and the TALON robot.
"This event is designed to promote interest in afterschool programs such as robotics," said Jacob Kardash, vice principal and STEM night coordinator." "Our goal is to get the students exposed to these topics, so when they go to high school, they can chose a career path that they're interested in, and hopefully by sparking an interest now, they'll chose more STEM related paths."
The 65th Bde. Eng. Bn. was formally partnered with both Mililani Middle School, as well Maili Elementary School on the Waianae Coast.
Soldiers volunteer their personal time to assist school officials with services such as mentoring, tutoring and campus beautification.
The Soldiers of Companies A and B personally designed and created the displays and engaged with the students.
"As a part of the community, here in central Oahu, it's great to have the chance to interact with the students at Mililani Middle School," said Lt. Col Heather Levy, commander for 65th Bde. Eng. Bn. "As engineers, we owe the community the chance to show young students some of the excitement that influenced our choices on coming into the military."
One of the goals for 65th Bde. Eng. Bn. was to show the community and the students a technological side of the military they may not have previously been familiar with.
"It's great for them to see that the Army is more than many people expect," said Levy.
"As a high school student I enjoyed my math and science classes and engineering taught me the skills to influence the environment to meet my requirements."
As a seasoned Army engineer officer, Levy has had the opportunity to put her skills to the test by completing tasks such as calculating the required amount of demolitions or identifying the maximum slope of a runway.