Story and Photo by Paul Long, FLEACT, Yokosuka Public Affairs
Students from Yokosuka Middle School (YMS) participated in the 2014 Science,Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conferences held on board Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka, April 3.
Joining the YMS students on the buses were middle-schoolers from Camp Zama’s Zama American Middle School.STEM is a conference focused on increasing access, success, and education in those academic disciplines. Members of the STEM believe students should improve the way they learn science,technology, math, and engineering and that the education, business, and STEM communities should collaborate to achieve this goal.
Students spent the day long field trip touring various commands throughout FLEACT, Yokosuka. They visited the USS George Washington (CVN-73), the U.S. Naval Hospital, the Ship Repair Facility,Commander, Submarine Group Seven, as well as various other commands.
YMS eighth-grade teacher Judith Goto felt that the STEM conference opens up new possibilities for the students, especially the female ones.
“I think a lot of girls don’t realize what opportunities are available in math and science,” Goto said.“This is a great experience. This exposes them to lots of things they could think about for the future.
In middle school a lot of times, girls will say, ‘Math doesn’t really relate, it’s a school subject and it doesn’t relate to real life.’ When they see a connection, they can work harder.”
Students felt that program was very educational, motivating, and fun. YMS eighth-grader Christina Kirchner wants to be a crime scene investigator when she grows up.“I learned about blood cells,” said Kirchner. “I have to learn about science and the human body. I have to know what affects blood cells and what it can do to the body.”
Fellow eighth-grader Kayleanne Ascuncion was impressed by all of the prospects ahead of her and wants to pursue a career in the medical field.
“Everything was really interesting, and it’s actually really fun because you can see what both girls and guys can do in the military,” Ascuncion said. “It’s a really great opportunity to see a lot of things that I really never thought about before. We got to cut up a pig’s foot and sew it back together. I never thought I’d like to do that, but it was actually pretty fun.”