By Krista Cummins, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Public Affairs Office
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific celebrated National Engineers' Week, Feb. 23, with numerous events to educate its command employees and the local community.
"NAVFAC Pacific went above and beyond for this year's National Engineers' Week events," said NAVFAC Pacific Chief Engineer and Capital Improvements Business Line Manager Ralph Luca. "To showcase all aspects of engineering and our science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) subject matter experts (SME), NAVFAC Pacific attended three community outreach events and hosted two internal events for our command employees. The contribution that each engineer, S.T.E.M. SME, and all those who support the NAVFAC Ohana are vital to the Department of the Navy, and to be given the opportunity to educate the community on the great work our folks continue to do is priceless."
National Engineers' Week was held, Feb. 18-24, and this year's theme is "Inspiring Wonder."
NAVFAC Pacific kicked off National Engineers' Week with a local outreach event at Kaimuki High School. The career fair included booths, educational pamphlets and interactive displays held for ninth graders who are interested in S.T.E.M. The second community outreach event NAVFAC Pacific participated in was the University of Hawaii's College of Engineering Career Fair held at its campus. It was a combined educational booth featuring both NAVFAC Pacific and NAVFAC Hawaii representatives informing students on current job openings within the NAVFAC organization.
"As a new employee, it was an honor to represent NAVFAC Pacific at the various community outreach events," said NAVFAC Pacific Capital Improvements Fire Protection Engineer Cherie Inouye. "I was able to give back to the community by attending the University of Hawaii's career fair and educating them on what NAVFAC Pacific is about. Being able to offer insight and advice to students in pursuit of a job, a position that I was [in not long ago], and also being able to spark interests in a career as a fire protection engineer, was a highlight of mine."
The final community outreach event was at Sacred Hearts Academy. The theme was "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" and the event included NAVFAC Pacific introductions, a trivia competition between the engineers and students, and interactive booth displays that included hands-on activities from various engineering departments.
"This was my second year participating in the Sacred Hearts Academy outreach event," said NAVFAC Pacific Capital Improvements Architect Adam Ching. "We had a larger group of volunteers this year who came from a wider range of experience and years, and it added up to more energy and excitement. We had fun activities from marshmallow noodle architecture, catapults, race cars, electrical experiments, [and] straw structures, to cool environmental science exhibits. In addition to the great one-on-one conversations, giving advice and inspiring them to pursue a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) career, we may have defied the stereotype and made engineering and design fun!"
NAVFAC Pacific also celebrated with two internal events for its command employees. Teams were formed to compete in a trivia challenge to win materials for an egg drop contest and took part in a live competition to display the best contraption for the egg drop challenge. NAVFAC Pacific also organized a free movie showing of the "Dream Big" engineering movie at Sharkey Theater.
"This year's events targeted a wide range of audiences from NAVFAC employees, DoD/military communities, high school students, and many others," said NAVFAC Pacific Program Analyst and National Engineers' Week Coordinator Helen Chou. "Personally, the highlight was doing outreaches to the local schools where we encouraged the youths to think critically and dream of creating a better tomorrow, which perfectly ties in with this year's theme to inspire wonder."