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
"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
"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
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.