by Senior Airman Aaron Montoya
49th Wing Public Affairs
8/14/2015 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Holloman
received the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award on Aug. 18,
from the Military Child Education Coalition for their participation in
the Otero STEM program.
STEM provides specific education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to children in real-world applications.
The Holloman and Otero STEM program began five years ago with the goal
to engage local students that have a passion for technology and science
in a variety of hands-on projects.
The local program had a humble beginning.
"We started from scratch," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Neff, 96th
Test Group deputy commander. "There wasn't much funding devoted to
this. It was based off the passion of a few key individuals who made it
happen on their own time."
The military training nature of Holloman, which encourages education,
provides a vast array of opportunities for children to learn about
cutting edge technology and engineering.
"We have a wealth of resources available on base with the test track and
all the testing that goes on here at the 96th TG, the Remotely Piloted
Aircraft flying squadrons and also the F-16 Fighting Falcon training
squadrons," said Neff. "There is a great amount of technical expertise
on the base that we would like to expose the youth to."
Having Holloman's trained professionals take part in the program offers a
unique perspective on these modern technologies to the children
"We send some of our experts down to the local schools as mentors in
various projects from Lego building competitions to robotics
competitions," said Neff. "Just to get some of those experts out there
to encourage the students to get interested in the programs we have
Holloman plans to continue their support in the Otero STEM program,
helping to ensure the children with interests in science and technology
stay passionate and continue their scientific studies.
"There is no better way to get the future recruits and future experts
than to get them interested in the career fields at a young age," said
Neff. "We want to continue to carry this forward and continue to work
with Alamogordo public schools and the local community to further this
effort. We're not going to stop now."