NAVSUP WSS Commander, Vice Commander Visit Museum to Strengthen STEM Partnership

BY SARAH GLINSKI, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP WEAPON SYSTEMS SUPPORT

NAVSUP Weapon Systems Support (WSS) Commander Rear Adm. Duke Heinz and Vice Commander Lynn Kohl visited Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) on February 8 to further strengthen the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) partnership between the two organizations.

NAVSUP WSS EAGLE STEM Program sophomores take measurements to cut and sand wood to add a plank to their harbormaster skiff during their EAGLE class at Philadelphia’s ISM. The boat will be fully sailable at the end of the academic year.

NAVSUP WSS created the Educating Acquisition, Global Logistics and Education (EAGLE) STEM program three years ago as part of the U.S. Navy’s commitment to increase, inspire and support STEM education and opportunities among America’s youth – the talent pool from which the next generation of Navy Sailors and civilians will come.

Heinz and Kohl toured EAGLE classrooms and workshops and spoke with sophomore-level program participants to learn first–hand how the program impacts and inspires Philadelphia youths.

“When I was at NAVSUP WSS as director of aviation operations back between 2010 and 2013, we were just starting up our STEM program,” said Heinz. “To come back here several years later as commander and see what the program looks like now is an exciting, amazing experience.”

Over the course of the visit, ISM teachers showed NAVSUP WSS senior leadership the facilities where EAGLE students complete their first two years in-program, including the SeaPerch tank, where EAGLE freshmen test and compete with their underwater, remotely-operated vehicles, and the boat building workshop, where EAGLE sophomores build full-size harbormaster skiffs.

Commander, NAVSUP WSS Rear Adm Duke Heinz observes NAVSUP WSS EAGLE STEM Program sophomores working on their harbor master skiff during his visit to Philadelphia’s ISM.

“STEM could certainly use more interest from the young folks in our country today, and we in the Navy know it’s important to give you opportunities to learn more about it,” Heinz said while addressing the students. “I encourage you to continue your education, and we’re committed to helping you do that through EAGLE.”

While Heinz fielded questions about his naval career and what EAGLE juniors and seniors are currently working on at NAVSUP WSS facilities, Kohl explained the many STEM-related civilian career fields and opportunities with the Navy. Nearly all of the sophomores expressed their excitement on coming to NAVSUP WSS next year to further their STEM education through EAGLE as they design and build their own For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology® Tech Challenge robots from scratch.

Before the sophomores start building robots, they plan to attend the next Navy STEM event hosted by NAVSUP WSS and ISM in March 2017 at Navy Career Day, where they and other Philadelphia high school students can connect with Navy STEM employers and local colleges and universities.

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

–photos by Maddie Klebe, NAVSUP WSS

May/June 2017