By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
Builder 1st Class Adam Perry, from Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 based out of Little Creek, Virginia, shows a local middle school student from Natchez, Mississippi the diving helmet his unit wears during operations, Sept. 12. Navy Week Natchez, part of the city’s year-long, tricentennial celebration, will showcase the Navy and give the local population a greater understanding of the capabilities of America’s sea service. (Photo by MCCS(SCW/SW) Jeffrey J. Pierce/160912-N-VN349-003)
Sailors, Seabees and Navy civilians assigned to various expeditionary and meteorology and oceanography commands provided science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) static displays at the Natchez Visitor Center for more than 500 students from seven Natchez-area schools, Sept. 12.
Students from 3rd grade through post secondary colleges were able to learn more about the sea services and its capabilities by visiting with Navy divers, climbing on various Naval Construction Force equipment and learning from the Naval Oceanographic Office about mapping the ocean floor.
Seabees from Naval Construction Group 2, 22nd Naval Construction Regiment, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1, Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1, and Sailors from Naval Oceanographic Office, Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 provided a variety of static displays for the two-day STEM event during Natchez Navy Week, Sept. 11 – 14.
Builder 1st Class Adam Perry, assigned to UCT 1, who is from Abbeville, La., enjoyed explaining their roles in the U.S. Navy to students who visited the static displays.
“I enjoyed letting them know what we do,” said Perry. “Many of the students thought we were from the U.S. Army, but I enjoyed teaching them about the variety of Navy capabilities beyond just ships.”
Concordia Parish Academy 4th grade teacher, Michelle Joseph, appreciated the opportunity for her students to spend time to learn more about the Navy.
“Bringing our students out to this event and letting them explore and ask questions makes them more knowledgeable about the many professional opportunities the Navy has to offer,” said Joseph.
Retired Army Maj. Sonjagela Johnson, parent of a student at Morgantown College Preparatory School in Natchez discussed the importance of knowing about other service capabilities.
“Having my daughter and her classmates experience this event shows them there is a side to the military besides the Army,” said Johnson.
“This opens their minds to what the Navy does.”
Robert Lewis Magnate School 7th grade teacher Trenisha Goslee, who teaches STEM, didn’t know what to expect at first with the static display.
“Once we got here, the students have been really excited and have been asking a lot of questions,” said Goslee. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to broaden their horizons and see what’s out there beyond our town. I have several students interested in STEM and the opportunities available in the military. If only one kids gets something out of this, it is worth it.”