By Ms. Elyssa Vondra (Jackson)May 24, 2019
The Fort Jackson Fire Department, the 192nd Ordnance Battalion (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and military police swarmed C.C. Pinckney Elementary School May 16, but not for an emergency -- they all participated in the STEMposium, teaching on-post students about the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Fort Bragg's 192nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), on temporary duty at Fort Jackson, brought in a robot used for explosive ordnance disposal to show students how they handle suspect packages and other potentially risky procedures using remote removal methods to prevent injury to the force's Soldiers.
Students had the chance to steer the robot and guide it to pick up a disposable cup, getting a feel of what it would be like to operate it professionally.
"I think it's cool to show (students) the different opportunities that they have going forward … whether that's with us or with engineering or whatnot," said 1st Lt. Jared Vallner of the 192nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD). "(Participating in the STEMposium) seemed like a good opportunity, especially to show them some robotics platforms."
Representatives from the fire department gave kids a quick refresher course on how to stay safe during a fire situation. One demonstrated the quick dress techniques of firefighters, dawning her full body gear in less than a minute.
School Resource Officer Lionel Brown brought in a couple of drones and took them to the sky.
Students pulled out their phones to capture the moment.
"I'm a kid when it comes to drones," said Brown, who has 10 drones of his own -- one of which is massive enough to lift 33 pounds and must be transported in the bed of a pickup truck -- commenting that he is happy to spend any given day just flying them around the golf course.
Army-owned drones are normally used for security during on-post events such as graduation and Family day, but aren't currently in use.
The kids learned about the rules of drone ownership and operation. Brown explained that unmanned aircraft systems need to be registered and that students should tell an adult if they see any flying around.
It's good for students to learn about drones at a young age in case they go into the military, where they can choose to specifically work with UAEs, Brown said.
"It takes a special person" to do it, so finding out about the opportunity early in life is beneficial, he added.
Other STEMposium events of the day included an egg drop, paper rocket-making, the physics behind physical fitness, fingerprinting and more.