Fort Riley, Kansas



EOD career, equipment excite STEM pupils

By Jessica Healey | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | July 22, 2014

Robots, rifles and explosive devices were in the hands of children June 27 at Fort Riley under the careful supervision of Soldiers, teachers and administrators.

Approximately 300 students, grades five through 12, enrolled in this year’s STEM Summer Institute visited Fort Riley on their last day of the program.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, were the focus of the summer program offered by Unified School District 383.

“I think our community children need to learn about Fort Riley, and this is a great opportunity for them to do so,” said Sandy Johnson, school liaison officer, Children, Youth and School Services.

The 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, hosted the students at their motor pool, giving demonstrations with their equipment and explaining what they do.

“I haven’t seen one kid that hasn’t been excited; it’s really been a great time for them and for me, as well,” Johnson said. “Seeing the kids interact with the Soldiers while learning has been great. The 84th EOD Soldiers have done a wonderful job.”

One program coordinator hopes the institute will inspire children to pursue careers within the STEM fields.

“I love science,” said Chris Herald, STEM project coordinator, STEM Summer Institute 2014. “There are so many new fields, and I think that’s where we need more young people working, so we need to get our kids trained for them.”

Inspiration seemed to have struck at least a couple students enrolled in the program.

“I would actually like to join the military – the Army,” said Kobi Scorggin, who’s headed to eighth grade in the fall.

Scorggin was so interested in the rocket propelled grenade and other explosive devices that he took photos and recorded video footage of Soldiers’ explanations of devices on display.

“It’s amazing to see all of this,” he said. “I’ve never seen any of this stuff before, and I’ve always wanted to.”

Another student, Sam Edwards, who’s headed to ninth grade in the fall, said he hopes to play football and then later work in engineering.

“It’s the first time I’ve really seen this kind of military stuff up close,” said Edwards.

“My dad usually does this stuff, and it’s nice to see what he does,” he added.

Other highlights of the tour included an Advanced Bomb Suit and robotics demonstration, as well as Humvee, radios, night vision and weapon displays. 

Tag Summer Program   Tag USD 383