A Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the Gym event and Health Fair Feb. 5 showed Fort Jackson students how physical activity ties in with STEM by bringing some less-known installation organizations into the same room.

Stations set up at C.C. Pinckney Elementary School taught pre-kindergarten through sixth grade students more.

They had a chance to get in some physical fitness time, too.

Activities for the kids included long jump, pushups, CrossFit, and Zumba.

The schools used the evening as another opportunity to get students thinking about STEM subjects while having fun outside of the classroom.

"It's a very easy connection" to make between STEM and movement, said Darrin Seamster, C.C. Pinckney gym teacher.

The topic of body mechanics ties in really well, he added, commenting that body movement is a matter of science.

Measuring students' long jump distance, for example, relates the activity to math, and understanding how to improve the jump brings in the science aspect, Seamster said.

Force and body mechanics were ideas touched on in gymnasium activities that included sled-pulling and ball-throwing.

Groups from across the installation offered their perspectives on the relationship between STEM and fitness.

Part of the intention was to showcase the opportunities offered to Families on-post, Seamster said.
Fort Jackson has "a lot of really great programs," Seamster added. "People don't know all the things that are provided for them."

A CrossFit affiliate that hosts free classes in Vanguard Gymnasium, the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and Youth Sports were just a few groups who made their way to the event.

"We have such a transient community, and we have amazing programs here on Fort Jackson, and sometimes people don't know about them the whole time they're here," Seamster said. "It's all just information that people just don't normally have the opportunity to just know."

There were more offerings on the health fair side, with Moncrief Health Clinic physical therapists discussing injury prevention, and fire department and dentist representatives speaking on their areas of expertise.

School Resource Officer Lionel Brown, a STEM in the Gym enthusiast, helps out at the event annually. This is its fifth year running.

"This is awesome," Brown said. "It gets (the kids) off the streets; they're here."