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.
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
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
“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
“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
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.