By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 27, 2017) – Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) dive locker supported Yokosuka Middle School students in their visit to the command during the school’s base-wide annual science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) day event.
The divers seized this opportunity to exhibit how much their job is steeped in STEAM to students, which included diving demonstrations and other examples of how they operate in the water.
“What we are trying to do is to show some of the basics of science and the technology that goes into diving, and try to interest kids in thinking of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Navy Diver 1st Class (ND1) Brandon Wilmot who gave a brief. “We give a demonstration of diving equipment, some of the basic physics of diving which include[s] Archimedes’ principle. It’s a science of buoyancy and making things flow.”
ND1 Wilmot also explained about gas laws, how gas interacts under pressure, gas volume and its expansion, and Boyle’s law. He further touched on the effect on the body under pressure, diving-related illnesses and how different gasses in the body interact.
Students also had a chance to see the locker’s decompression chamber and learned how divers’ diseases are treated. The divers let some students aboard their diving boat as well.
“Our objective for the event is to expose students to STEAM-related careers, explore hands-on activities, and engage with experts to expand students’ interest and understanding of STEAM topics beyond the learning that happens in the classroom,” said Gwen Wano, an 8th grade science teacher.
According to Wano, in this annual event, several groups consisting of nearly 600 students visited over 40 locations including U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka, the teen center, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin(DDG 89) and Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s Port Operations to learn how much science knowledge is adapted in the real world.
Formerly known as STEM (without art), educators have emphasized the importance of science, technology, engineering and math subjects in an increasingly science-driven society.
Over the last decade, however, a movement in incorporating art subjects into STEM has been gaining popularity. For example, Rhode Island School of Design advocates STEAM rather than STEM in order for students to bring about innovation and creativity by combining science and arts.
STEAM is a new acronym that has emerged over the last decade and has a multitude of definitions and approaches. According to the STEAM Journal, this revamped field expresses fostering innovation, the need for twenty-first century skills, and divergent and convergent thinking.
“They learned that [in diving] there is a lot more to it than just putting on a suit and going in the water,” said Jennifer Shannon, an 8th grade mathematics teacher. “Divers must be aware of the dangers of being under water for long periods of time and how science helps to keep them healthy so they can complete their missions. The students enjoyed their day and learned a lot about all of the jobs and careers available to them that involve applications of science, technology, engineering and math.”