MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Students from Bolden Elementary aboard Laurel Bay held a Career Day at the school’s gymnasium Jan. 22. The day was part of a familiarization for the students in careers that tie into the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program.
The STEM program is designed to give students a basic understanding of the core subjects and encourage the pursuit of careers in those fields. Students in STEM learn how to apply these subjects in everyday life.
The career day was divided into eight stations, each with representatives, for the kids to interact and ask questions. All volunteers of career day from the previous year returned. Visitors included law enforcement officials, representatives from a national bank, agents from the Department of Health and Environmental Control, and pilots from Marine Corps Air station Beaufort.
“This program is to reinforce our STEM program,” said Fran Roberts, a counselor at Bolden Elementary. “On career day, students can see how these subjects apply in the real world and hear from professionals how they take what the students are learning and apply it every day.”
Each of STEM’s core subjects were represented at a station. Students walked around the gymnasium and spoke with visitors about their profession and how it relates to STEM.
“I am here to show the military kids how banking works and to inform them on the math element of STEM,” said Elizabeth Molina-Ortiz, a customer service representative at Fort Sill National Bank aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. “These kids are pretty smart. I am surprised at how excited they get about banking and how much they know about it.”
The students at Bolden have STEM integrated into their curriculum so they know the basics. Career day is a chance for them to apply it to the real world and see how it might be used. Marine Corps criminal investigators were present to show students how they use technology to solve crimes.
“So far the day has gone really well,” said Agent Frederick Taylor, a criminal investigator aboard MCAS Beaufort. “The kids respond well to what we are showing them. They are particularly interested in our fingerprint powder and evidence tape.”
Children were briefed on the different careers so they can better prepare their questions. However, not all the questions were required to be related to STEM. The event also gave students a good sense of the different careers available to them in life.
“We are here to show them the basics of what we do in case any of them are interested in a career in criminal justice,” said Taylor. “We are not getting into specific practices and procedures of the Marine Corps.”
Students attending career day may decide that they are interested in a profession based on the presentation. There are many career opportunities in law enforcement in the military and beyond.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control spoke to students about the role of science and engineering in conservation.
“My main job is to protect living organisms,” said Tara Donahue, environmental manager with the DHEC. “There is a lot of science and engineering in what I do.”
Career Day is also meant to prepare students for the STEMposium in the Spring. STEMposium is the culminating event in the program that centers on individual and group projects created by the students. More detailed presentations on the careers that applied to STEM will be held also in conjunction with the STEMposium.
“The kids have been so engaged in this program from the start,” said Roberts “Today is a fun day, then we take the information they learn back to the classroom and study it in detail.”