STEM students aboard George Washington

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Donisha Brown

Damage Controlman 2nd Class William Burkett, from Croydon, Pa., assists Carter Velivlis, a 6th grade student at Yokosuka Middle School, with equipping firefighting gear during the annual Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).  U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jaime Marcial

Damage Controlman 2nd Class William Burkett, from Croydon, Pa., assists Carter Velivlis, a 6th grade student at Yokosuka Middle School, with equipping firefighting gear during the annual Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jaime Marcial

YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 2, 2015) – More than 80 middle school students from Yokosuka Middle School on Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka, visited USS George Washington (CVN 73) as part of the school’s annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program, April 2.

During the tour students visited a damage control repair locker where they learned how to use damage control equipment and properly communicate during a fire casualty.

“It [STEM] helps the teachers as well students. It challenges us to think outside the box,” said John Murphy, Yokosuka Middle School science teacher.

The STEM campaign was established to recruit and improve the way students learn about science, mathematics, technology and engineering by early introduction to job-related fields. One of the objectives for STEM coalition is building better academic skills to keep students inquisitive and increased competitiveness among peers.

The visit marked George Washington’s fourth year participating in the program.

Damage Controlman 1st Class Walter Dailey, from Norfolk, Va., left, observes students from Yokosuka Middle School as they equip firefighting gear during the annual Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bryan Mai

Damage Controlman 1st Class Walter Dailey, from Norfolk, Va., left, observes students from Yokosuka Middle School as they equip firefighting gear during the annual Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bryan Mai

“The ship is a floating math and science lab, where children get the opportunity to learn in a non-traditional way,” added Murphy. “This [event] shows students how much math and science is used daily.”

After the tour, the students equipped themselves in firefighting gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to combat a simulated fire.

Damage controlman 1st class Walter Dailey said, “We were surprised by the amount of motivation the boys and girls showed. Some children were afraid but the other children encouraged them to be brave. The students had to use lots of communication, teamwork and courage.”

“Even though it was a lot of work, I had fun putting on the fireman’s suit,” said Garcia Gaither, 8th grade student. “STEM gives us a chance to exercise what people do on their jobs.”

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