Philadelphia Students Inspired to “Dream Bigger” at NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support Career Day

BY SARAH GLINSKI
OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT

NAVSUP WSS EAGLE mentor Lt. Sam Adjei supports the EAGLE seniors participating in the underwater robotics competition at Navy Career Day.

 

“If your dreams don’t scare you, you are not dreaming big enough,” challenged Jimmy Smith, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for expeditionary programs and logistics management (DASN E&LM), at the NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS)-sponsored Navy Career Day March 23 at the Independence Seaport Museum (ISM).

Navy Career Day, geared toward high school students from the Philadelphia area, was borne out of a partnership between NAVSUP WSS and ISM to develop and retain the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals. The event featured an inspiring panel discussion with Navy military and civilian STEM leaders and student participants from the NAVSUP WSS and ISM STEM program, as well as interactive exhibitions and information booths from Navy commands, local colleges and universities.

“We need the world’s brightest scientists, most innovative designers, and most creative coders to help keep this country strong,” Rear Adm. Heinz, commander, NAVSUP WSS, told the attending students. “This is your chance to start or further the type of connections that can help you achieve your goals.

NAVSUP WSS Vice Commander Lynn Kohl and DASN E&LM Jimmy Smith thank Maurice Civers, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center representative, for attending Navy Career Day to share information about his agency with the next generation STEM workforce. Pictured from left to right: Lt Cmdr. Diana Dalphonse, Educating
Acquisition, Global Logistics and Engineering STEM program lead; Lynn Kohl; Karl Larson, NAVSUP Headquarters; Jimmy Smith; Maurice Civers.

“To know that you’re interested in STEM and learning more about the U.S. Navy – both of which are so important to the protection and prosperity of our nation – is very encouraging for our future,” Heinz continued.

In addition to exploring the booths and displays set up around the museum, students participated in an underwater robotics competition; tested and played with For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology® Tech Challenge robots; and learned about the Delaware River’s biology, ecology and chemistry through a scientific discovery workshop.

Lynn Kohl, vice commander, NAVSUP WSS, a career Navy STEM professional, encouraged students to push their boundaries, accept challenges and get out of their comfort zones as they pursue their goals in STEM. As a senior executive service member who began her career as an engineer, she emphasized opportunities for civilian naval careers as an alternative to military service.

“I loved being an engineer for the Navy, and as I grew in my career, they gave me the opportunity to work in all kinds of fields – not just engineering,” Kohl said. “It expanded into logistics and into information technology. If you want to serve your country, but you don’t want to be in the military, being a
government civilian is an excellent choice.”

Smith not only served as a panelist but also provided inspirational keynote remarks about his own life journey, naval career path and scholarship opportunities.

DASN E&LM Jimmy Smith, alongside NAVSUP WSS Commander Rear Adm. Duke Heinz, congratulate the first place winner of the underwater robotics competition at Navy Career Day.

“I started with something small in STEM, and it blossomed into something I’m still doing today,” Smith said, referencing his time as a young pilot and linking it with his experience as a submarine technician and DASN E&LM. “The opportunities following a STEM path are endless.”

Navy Career Day participating agencies included: Naval Sea Systems Command; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; the U.S. Naval Academy; Navy Recruiting District – Philadelphia; the University of Pennsylvania; Drexel, Temple, and Rowan universities; the Community College of Philadelphia; the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; and the Urban Youth Racing School.

On Nov. 3, 2014, NAVSUP WSS and ISM announced a new partnership to guide high school students toward STEM-related occupations through their Educating Acquisition, Global Logistics and Engineering (EAGLE) program. The new alliance came in response to the high demand for STEM graduates and the low numbers of students pursuing or receiving STEM-related degrees in Pennsylvania and throughout the Nation. Navy Career Day functions as an inspiration and awareness campaign to further the partnership’s goals.

For more information about the EAGLE program, visit www.facebook.com/eaglestem

-photos by Maddie Klebe, NAVSUP WSS

May/June 2017