From Christine Rosalin, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Public Affairs Office
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific, NAVFAC Hawaii and Air Force units from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) collaborated to host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community outreach event for Moanalua High School students Feb. 19 in support of National Engineers Week.
The outreach event began with a guided tour of Red Hill where students were able to learn about the science behind the gravity-fed design of the fuel system, along with safety and environmental mitigations.
"We are very grateful for the coordination, time and attention to detail that we were shown," said Joanna Kobayashi, Moanalua High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) teacher and STEM program coordinator. "Getting to see the fuel facility and control center, up close, was amazing. The commanders were very knowledgeable and shared so much about how the buildings were built and why they are so important to us."
Following the tour, an educational outreach event at Moanalua High School featured booths, educational pamphlets, interactive displays and hands-on activities from various NAVFAC and Air Force employees.
"These types of community outreach events are important to connect us with the upcoming generation and to gain insight on where these kids are headed as future leaders in the STEM field," said Adam Ching, NAVFAC Pacific architect.
Thirty students and personnel participated in the event and were able to connect with subject matter experts (SMEs) from several STEM fields to include - architectural engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, environmental engineers, marine biologists, electricians and computer science. Supporting fields such as business development and human resources were also available for students to learn about future employment opportunities.
Some of the presenters are former students of Moanalua High School.
"It feels great to give back to my old high school," said Melanie Mak, NAVFAC Hawaii civil engineer and designer. "When I was a student, a professional civil engineer from the industry volunteered his time after work to coach us for a STEM competition. At the time I wasn’t considering being an engineer, but now I am a professional engineer myself, so things really went full circle, and I believe events like these matter."
Members of Moanalua High School expressed similar appreciation.
"I've hosted similar events and this was by far one of the best ones," said Kobayashi. "All presenters were enthusiastic, ready to share, and had hands on activities that tied what they were presenting to how it affects their jobs daily. We are so thankful for NAVFAC and JBPHH units for their support of STEM and building our future."
In the past, Navy commands of JBPHH conducted outreach events at the University of Hawaii, Sacred Hearts Academy, Kaimuki High School and Radford High School.
"NAVFAC Pacific is grateful for the opportunity to partner with our local high schools to showcase all aspects of engineering that are vital to the Department of the Navy," said Marc Wong, NAVFAC Pacific chief engineer and Capital Improvements business line manager. "Thank you to all of our engineers and STEM SMEs for your contributions on making this event successful each year. Your efforts not only sustain our technical community but provides inspiration to a new generation of engineers."
National Engineers Week runs from Feb. 16-22, 2020, and this year’s theme is "Pioneers of Progress."