Thursday, February 11, 2010

Showcasing Science in Hawaii

On February 6, 2010, employees from SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, Code H, the Pacific C4ISR Department, led a science show at the 1st annual Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area Science Fair. The Science Fair determined which intermediate school science projects would represent the region in the Hawaii State Science Fair in April while the supplemental science shows were a way to encourage the students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Code H's Gregory Lum, Jayson Nakakura, and Neal Miyake teamed with Envisioneering Inc. and the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) to put on two 45-minute productions for 250 appreciative students, families, friends, and educators. Greg and Jayson showcased the effects of linear and angular momentum, wowed the audience with both an experimental robot and an operational robot, and demonstrated laser theory and optical transmission. The intent was to demonstrate the relevance of science and mathematics by showing how theories can apply in the real world.

Hawaii's Governor Linda Lingle was in attendance, providing additional words of encouragement to the students and assisting with the awards presentation. She spoke of the need for more scientists and engineers for our nation, cabling between islands to support energy and communication transmission, and the need for underwater robotics to identify bathymetry and possible unexploded munitions.

For Oahu, this was the first time a science fair included technical shows (the island of Kauai has adopted this format for six years, with Code H participating the last two years). If the enthusiasm and excitement of both kids and administrators are any indication of the success, Code H looks forward to expanding this educational outreach initiative to an even larger audience.

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