Students urged to learn about STEM fields at agency’s annual Air Camp

Air Force Research Laboratory

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Sensors Directorate staff recently hosted 44 Air Camp students to tour the facility and learn about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, careers within AFRL.

Created in 2010, Air Camp is a non-profit organization created to inspire students to pursue STEM education and career opportunities. Air Camp focuses on aviation and aeronautics and increasing students’ confidence to pursue such opportunities by building skills in leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

During the visit, the students, ranging from grades 7 to 9, had the opportunity to tour several labs and participate in demonstrations.

“Opportunities such as this allow students to see real hands-on STEM research being done by people who they can view as role models,” said Dr. Vince Russo, one of the founders of Air Camp.

AFRL researchers enjoy connecting with the local community and inspiring students to become future STEM professionals.

“These types of outreach programs are instrumental in inspiring and recruiting the next generation of AFRL scientists and engineers,” said Dr. Emily Heckman, a senior electronics research engineer at AFRL Sensors Directorate, who facilitated and coordinated the visit. “Many of the Air Camp students made the comment they had no idea they could pursue this type of career through AFRL.”

Along with Heckman, over 20 Sensors Directorate personnel, including several AFRL summer interns, supported this visit.

“It is so nice to be on the other side and help kids interested in STEM get exposure to all the novel technology and work going on at AFRL,” said Lisa Sebastian, an AFRL summer intern and electrical engineering major at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. “Similar tours showed me what was out there, ultimately influencing my decision to intern for AFRL in the Sensors Directorate. I absolutely love seeing the next generation get inspired and can’t wait to see what they do in the future.”

The AFRL Sensors Directorate aims to lead the discovery and development of future capabilities. Providing learning opportunities for students is a great way to pave the path for future STEM success.

To learn more about Air Camp and its various locations in Dayton, visit www.aircampusa.org.

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