NEWPORT NEWS, Va., July 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Volunteers from Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE:HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division are trading in their safety gear for school gear this summer at the STEM Summer of Innovation Academy. Helping students explore future careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, NNS volunteers are working with Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) to get students excited about math and science.
Hosted July 8 through Aug. 1 by the 21st Century Community Learning Center and Heritage High School Governor’s STEM Academy, the camp exposes rising 7th through 9th graders to different STEM topics through the help of local business volunteers.
Broken into two concentrations, the academy features learning activities based on aviation/aeronautics and environmental science. Both concentrations teach traditional classroom subjects like geometry, algebra and a foreign language in addition to exploring career fields in aviation and environmental science through field trips and hands-on activities led by industry volunteers such as the 10 NNS shipbuilders. These volunteers represent all areas of the shipyard and dedicate one to two days each week to the academy.
John Banks Sr., an electrical engineer at NNS, is helping students experience engineering in the classroom through building robots. “Working with the talented and gifted youth of the STEM Summer of Innovation Academy gives me an opportunity to feed into the innovators of tomorrow and be fed in return through lively conversations with the youth while tackling robotic and electronic challenges,” Banks said. “Each student brings a new light, new idea and vision to our team that renews my pride as a NNS engineer to think bigger, dream bigger and remember that there are no limits to what can be achieved with strong will and determination.”
NNS’ volunteers have supported the academy since its inception in 2012 by providing students with real-world work expertise through partnered teaching. Spending time at Heritage High with the students, the volunteers are able to emphasize the importance of STEM in the shipbuilding industry and expose students to future careers.
“The challenge was set by President Barack Obama a year ago to figure out how to introduce STEM beyond regular school hours to after-school and summertime learning,” said NNPS’ Corey Gordon, program administrator of the 21st Century Community Learning Center. “This academy does just that because it has students look at all the elements of STEM as a cohesive unit. And the shipyard volunteers have been a tremendous support to ensure the two strands of the program are being supported through observing and helping the students build robots, planes, rockets and alternative resource houses all in these strands of STEM.”
About Huntington Ingalls
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder at its Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding divisions. Employing about 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, HII also provides a wide variety of products and services to the commercial energy industry and other government customers. For more information, visit: