The Maryland Air National Guard hosted a group of 50 students from the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program as part of a five-week camp, July 3, 2019, at Martin State Airport, Middle River, Md. The program is designed to build on the students’ interest and knowledge in the STEM arena as they prepare for college or careers after high school.
The students, ranging from 9th – 12th grade, were introduced to the A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft and simulator as well as Electro-Optical and Infrared (EOIR) sensors.
“I think kids need opportunities that provide exposure to STEM topics,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. David Seaba, 135th Intelligence Squadron superintendent, Maryland Air National Guard. “This is the first year I am serving as the STEM coordinator and so far it’s been an excellent experience; the kids seem to be very receptive to the information given.”
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Linda L. Singh, Maryland National Guard Adjutant General, initiated the Maryland National Guard’s partnership to expose the high school age students to STEM opportunities within the military.
“STEM pathways often have other benefits aside from career options, said Singh. “Those types of skills teach you to become a better leader through decision-making.”
Students from schools across Baltimore City had the opportunity to ask questions and interact with personnel from the 104th Fighter Squadron, 175th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 135th Intelligence Squadron.
“This generation will forge our next level of national leaders,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Michael DeZinna, officer in charge of the A-10 Intelligence Flight, Maryland Air National Guard. “As an instructor, it is important that I take the time and effort to share my knowledge with these kids. If only one of them decides to pursue a STEM career path, then I’ve done my job.”
The group will return to Martin State Airport at the end of July to discuss social media and internet security issues with military personnel.