HII Apprentices Career Day: Students Set a Design Challenge

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Apprentice School gymnasium at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division transformed.

Using materials such as duct tape and marshmallows, NNS, in partnership with NASA Langley Research Center and the Peninsula Engineering Council (PEC), will engage 600 sophomores and juniors from Peninsula and Southside high schools to explore their passion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and increase their awareness and appreciation of engineering—all while having a little fun.

"It is inspiring to see so many young people who have an interest in STEM," said Jennifer McClain, manager of NNS' Career Pathways Program. "It is to our benefit to harness this enthusiasm and educate these students about the many career opportunities that are available to them and to do it in a fun and memorable way."

Students will have an opportunity to learn about 30 different STEM disciplines with help from NNS, NASA, PEC and local university representatives. After rotating between four hands-on displays, the students will participate in an engineering design challenge by building a duct tape boat for NNS and a marshmallow lunar lander for NASA. The Career Day event will be streamed live through NASA's Distance Learning Network from 9:45 to 11:30 a.m. EST here.

"It's an incredible opportunity to influence young people about their career choices," said Monica Barnes, education lead in NASA's Office of Human Capital Management. "I wish I had an opportunity like this—to be educated about the various types of engineering that are available and the amazing innovations that have come from their brilliant ideas."

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