MURFREESBORO, Tn. – Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) supported the local community at the “Murfreesboro Municipal Airport World of Aviation” event as part of the Tennessee Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) Festival, October 22, 2022.
More than 400 attendees made their way through various displays and stations at the event, which offered people of all ages the opportunity to learn about the science, technology, engineering, art, and math that bring aviation to life.
The STEAM festival is an annual event that takes place across the state and incorporates events in various locations, including museums, schools, and community centers. The event aims to spark interest and enables younger generations to explore and get excited about careers in the STEAM fields, including those within the Army.
Ryan Hulsey, the manager of the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport, was elated that the soldiers could bring equipment and engage with attendees. “With the 101st bringing their engineering brigade, (it was) perfect, it’s literally in the name, and the kids are just losing their minds over this giant dozer; and then who doesn't love a Chinook? It's an extremely iconic aircraft, so it’s been an absolute hit.” Regarding the unit's engineering assets, Hulsey added, “I think it’s awesome for people of all ages to come in and see the military is a lot more than just the cliché things you see on TV.”
The participation of the Soldiers in this event is enriching for inquiring minds and beneficial for community relationships. Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Nee of the 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion expressed the importance of the military’s involvement in these events. "I really think the most important thing we get out of it is shared understanding. We get to share our experiences and military values with the community. It is wonderful to see kids running around the vehicles and experiencing what we do in the Army daily. Interactions like this strengthen relationships in the community."
The event attracted more attendees than Hulsey anticipated. With its overwhelming success, he believes that the STEAM Festival will include the Murfreesboro Municipal Airport World of Aviation as an annual participant. Hulsey hopes the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) continues its support in enlightening curious minds.