Military News

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SAP hosts 'Motion Commotion'

by Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

10/28/2015 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As part of its ongoing science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiative, the Schriever School Age Program held a "Motion Commotion" event here Oct. 23.

"Motion Commotion" is the 2015-2016 STEM theme for 4-H and its focus is to help students understand the dangers of distracted driving through science.

"It's teaching kids about the dangers of distracted driving through experiments dealing with reactions, motion and distraction," said Regina Lee, SAP assistant.

The SAP brought in Ann Lebahn, systems engineer, and Ray Delacruz, software engineer, both with Lockheed Martin and both with ties to Schriever, to help youth create their experiments, as well as to share about their careers.

"We have a career day every Friday where people come in to talk about their careers," said Vicki Rygiel, SAP coordinator.

Lebahn and Delacruz began by briefly explaining what they do and answering any career-related questions. They then assisted the students with setting up and performing the experiments of the day.

"[Having guest speakers] gets the kids more involved and helps expand their minds to the STEM world," Lee said. "[STEM] is everywhere."

Youth began by creating "drivers" with clay and setting them behind the wheel of toy cars. The youth were then given a brief lesson on Newton's Laws, with a special focus on motion and reaction.

They were able to see those Laws applied as they built ramps using books and plastic ribbons. The youth were able to experience how friction would slow the cars, as well as how differences in force and slope affected the distance traveled. They then put barriers of differing weights and sizes at the end of the ribbon to determine how it would affect the travel path of the vehicle.

Finally, the students were able to experience how distractions can alter reaction time. They began by pairing up and having one person hold a ruler just above the open hand of the other person. They would then drop the ruler while the person tried to catch it. Once a baseline ability to catch the ruler had been established, other students would come and provide distractions while the person attempted to catch the ruler.

Rygiel said the engineers provided a good tie-in to the STEM event, and the career day exposed the SAP participants to a wide variety of careers.

"We have females and males to show the kids they can be whatever they want to be, but the key is to give them the educational tools to understand what different options they have," she said. "We've had people come from medical, dental and the chapel to give career information."

Lee said the guest speakers not only give career information, but show just how diverse Schriever is.

"It gets the community involved with the program and shows the kids that Schriever extends beyond these walls," Lee said.

For more information, contact the SAP at 567-4742.

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