DOVER, Tennessee – Soldiers from 101st Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), visited Stewart County High School Jan. 5 to meet with students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, or STEM.
Stewart County High School STEM program is a part of its career and technical education initiative, and its mission is to prepare today’s students for tomorrow opportunities.
STEM in the military is important because innovative and tech-savvy Soldiers are essential to successfully executing a mission.
STEM is a part of every mission, and the ability to network information from multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance enables success.
“Things are constantly changing in today’s climate, it is essential that our students are prepared with the knowledge they need to be able to navigate advanced problem-solving issues,” said Kevin Hargis, a first-year teacher of engineering at Stewart County High School.
Hargis, who is also a math teacher, expressed his admiration for the STEM program, and said, he wants his students to know the different opportunities they will have available once they graduate.
“I am grateful for Fort Campbell Soldiers providing our students with hands-on knowledge about how the Army incorporates STEM in their everyday working environment,” he said.
Sergeant Justin Raines, an intelligence analyst, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 129th Division Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Div. Sust. Bde., and Sgt. First Class Jonathan Vazquez, an intelligence analyst and the noncommissioned officer-in-charge, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Div. Sust. Bde., discussed the AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven, a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle, with students.
“I volunteered to speak to the students today because I am passionate about what I do for the military, and I wanted to share some of my knowledge with them,” Raines said. “I think it is important to show the youth how the military applies engineering to complete a mission set.”
Students also learned about night vision googles and single channel ground and airborne radio system.
Corporal Damian Martinez, a radio operator-repairer assigned to 584th Support Maintenance Company, 129th Div. Sust. Support Bn., 101st Div. Sust. Bde., shared with students how night vision goggles are used and why they are important in combat scenarios.
“Prior to coming here, I did not realize how much the military used STEM to complete its missions but in my field we use STEM almost daily,” Martinez said.
During the visit, the Soldiers also talked with the students about why it’s great to serve the nation and their experiences throughout their military careers.
“In an ever-changing, increasingly complex work environment it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions,” said Shawn Suites, who has been teaching in the STEM program at Stewart County High School for three years.
Suites, who specializes in robotics, empathizes the importance of students being able to get hands-on experience with STEM technology and meeting people who use the discipline daily.
“If we want a nation where our future scholars, neighbors and workers can understand and solve some of the complex challenges today and tomorrow and meet the demands of the dynamic and evolving workforce, building students’ skills, content knowledge, and literacy in STEM fields is essential,” he said. “We must also make sure no matter where students live they have access to quality learning environments.”