The Naval Postgraduate School hosted a group of high school students from the Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science (MAOS) for an afternoon of activities and demonstrations to encourage pursuit of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). NPS annually works with MAOS to give public high school students an opportunity to learn in state-of-the-art laboratories from world-class instructors.
“Encouraging high school students to pursue careers in STEM is extremely important, and it was a pleasure to work with these students,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thor Martinsen, a military lecturer with the electrical and computer engineering and applied math departments.
“The NPS-MAOS day is a great opportunity for us to give back to the local community and showcase NPS and the Navy. I am thankful to all of the faculty and staff who supported the event and look forward to doing this again next year.”
MAOS helps students achieve success through an interdisciplinary approach to science and technology. The academy helps connect students with oceanographic experts to perform hands-on science labs, field studies and internships with a distinct focus on real-world issues.
“What we hope the students take away from it is an appreciation of real-world science and an understanding that there is much more that awaits them should they go into a science related career,” said Ronald Woods, MAOS concept design team teacher.
The events on NPS are usually arranged outdoors, but due to inclement weather, the students received an inside look at some of the research being conducted at NPS.
Drs. Andres Larraza and Bruce Denardo of the NPS Department of Physics conducted an acoustics demonstration. James Calusdian of the NPS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering demonstrated robotics technology. And Vicki Taber, a natural resource specialist at Naval Support Activity Monterey, directed an environmental science and water ecology activity.
When the weather broke at the end of the day, physics staff member Sam Barone conducted a field demonstration of the popular nitrogen water cannon.
“Students were surprised by the level of interaction they had with NPS staff. Some students said they were just expecting a tour of the facility, and were a bit shocked, and very happy, to receive such an interactive and exciting presentation,” said Woods.
“Having enough students willing to pursue careers in STEM is very important for our country,” said Martinsen. “These day’s fewer and fewer college students are choosing to study Science, Engineering and Mathematics. Although these fields are challenging, they are also very rewarding.”