By Cameron S. Hunt | 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE,Colo. — Peterson Air Force Base sponsored the 2019 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Diversity Day, May 3, 2019. The STEM program is a K-12 education program that promotes excellence in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. The diversity day event focused on fostering student’s interests in the STEM course studies and related career fields within the Air Force.
STEM Diversity Day included an orientation at Air Force Space Command with Maj. Gen. John Shaw, AFSPC deputy commander, who gave a presentation to the students on the exciting and fun facets of space and space exploration.
The coordinator for this year’s STEM Diversity Day event was Mary Goshay, AFSPC instructional system designer II, who acted as master of ceremonies for the orientation.
“The diversity and inclusion of the STEM event was a tremendous success because of the collaboration of various organizations such as: National Space Security Institute, Peterson AFB Museum, 21st Security Forces Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, Emergency Ordnance Disposal, 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron transportation, High Frontier Honor Guard, Physiology, Youth Center, Protocol, and the weather flight,” Goshay said.
Students were transported from Colorado Springs middle schools to Peterson AFB during the all-day event.
Students were taken to various STEM exhibits set up around the base where they learned about equipment invented using STEM principles. Visiting students listened to lectures, interacted with displays, and conducted experiments.
The 21st Operations Support Squadron weather flight set up a static display at the museum with a Tactical Meteorological Observation System and a laser range finder. Students were able to operate and experiment with the laser range finder and discover firsthand how various meteorological equipment is used to forecast and observe inclement weather patterns.
“The students really didn’t seem too interested in our weather equipment or what we did as meteorologists until they got to interact with the gear,” said Master Sgt. Jonathan Winston, 21st OSS noncommissioned officer in charge of aviation weather operations. “Seeing the students use the laser range finder and seeing the reactions on their faces figuring out how it worked was really rewarding for me.”
The students came from District 14 in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and District 70 in Pueblo West, Colorado, to participate in the day’s events. The goal was to inspire students within the STEM program and expose them to career fields within the Air Force that apply STEM disciplines.
“Statistically, minority and female youths have been the least informed on educational options in STEM careers within the Air Force,” said Goshay. “STEM activities provide an innovative way to connect with students. It exposes talented and diverse youths to opportunities within AFSPC and with the vision to continue to grow an inclusive Air Force to meet the current and future demands of space.”
The day’s festivities ended with closing remarks from Senior Master Sgt. Jerome Wesley, 21st OSS superintendent, at Peterson AFB Patriot Park Pavilion. The remarks echoed the day’s earlier themes focusing on the importance of education and how the STEM disciplines fuel innovation and relate to the overall Air Force space mission capabilities.
For more information regarding the STEM program and upcoming STEM events contact Mary Goshay at 719-556-3371.