By Tom Kreidel, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS) -- Lt. Ben Hunter, assistant public works officer at Public Works Department Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads volunteered his time to help support the Vex High Rise Challenge at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Feb. 7.
According to Lt. James McKelvie, this is part of Naval Facilities Command Mid-Atlantic's commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in the command's area of operations.
"It was a great opportunity to support young people with a passion for STEM and show them that engineering can be both fun and have a future," Hunter said. We were able to provide a positive example of hard work paying off when you commit to a demanding career like engineering."
Hunter explained that schools from across the state designed, programmed, and built robots to go through a series of automated and actively controlled scenarios that pitched them against other schools. The teams created unique robots that had to be able to pick up objects and place them in other places while maneuvering through obstacles.
"I served as a referee for the matches making sure that the teams' robots met all of the physical requirements and parameters while also keeping score of each team's progress and making sure they played by the rules in the arena," said Hunter.
McKelvie added that this was the first STEM event the NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic wardroom participated in this year, but there are already other events scheduled, including a science fair in Norfolk, Virginia, later this month.