NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) San Diego wrapped up a week-long Science, Technology, Engineering and Technology (STEM) program for 22 high school students July 18 in San Diego.
The Logistics, Acquisition and Supply Systems Operation (LASSO) program, a national summer camp aimed at improving STEM achievement and understanding, engaged a diverse group of high school students in logistics-based scenarios that required teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and applied mathematics skills.
“When they started this program, none of the kids had ever used Microsoft Excel before,” said Lt. Blake Lingad, lead instructor for the San Diego camp. “By the end of the week, they had a great understanding of the basics and were able to use it to organize some pretty complex spreadsheets. I think it was good for them to see a young Navy officer sitting next to them saying ‘Hey, you can learn this, and I’m going to teach you.’ They realized a lot of their potential and it really motivated them.”
Students used Excel to create sample budgets for college and the prom committee, in addition to solving complex word problems that required them to determine the most expedient and least expensive method to move goods all around the globe while avoiding real-world situations like piracy and civil unrest.
Using military-themed scenarios, the students also learned project management, quality assurance, logistics and supply chain management concepts.
NAVSUP FLC San Diego Commanding Officer Capt. Christopher Mosher, who partnered with Temple University during his previous assignment at NAVSUP Weapons Systems Support for the program’s pilot run, said he was honored to help drive the effort onward once again.
“The program has been tremendously successful and, as a result, is being rolled out at schools across the country,” said Mosher. “I, for one, am really excited to be a partner in it again to help provide this training to some terrific, talented kids.”
The command partnered with the local Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) organization to make the learning opportunity a reality.
“Strategically, this outreach program is designed not only as an aid to our youth on their educational journeys, but it also helps fill the STEM gap in America,” said Mosher. “We need those important skillsets in our Navy, both in uniform and in our civil service positions. We certainly want to train and attract the youths who possess those skills, but even if they chose to go another route, their skills will benefit our society.”
In addition to receiving free computer tablets and on-campus classroom training at San Diego State University, the children also had an opportunity to see logistics in action aboard Naval Base San Diego, where they toured a Defense Logistics Agency warehouse.
“It is our hope that these children will embrace these crucial disciplines and seek higher levels of education,” said Mosher. “We feel that programs like LASSO are helping us produce good, inspired citizens, and so we are absolutely committed to supporting this program going forward.
By Candice Villarreal, NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego Public Affairs