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Scott STEAM Day event challenges students to think big

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Hudson
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Over 450 students from Illinois and Missouri traveled to Scott AFB for the annual STEAM Day, celebrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Hosted by the 375th Air Mobility Wing, the event featured over 40 booths displaying different missions from around Scott and how they tie into STEAM.

Students viewed static displays of the C-21, KC-135, C-40, and the Air Force’s newest refueling aircraft, the KC-46, which flew in from McConnell Air Force, Kansas. The Band of Mid-America was also on hand to provide artistic flare during the event, highlighting the organization’s role in promoting esprit de corps and telling the Air Force story through the universal language of music.

Col. Joseph Meyer, 375th AMW commander, welcomed the students to Scott, telling them that there’s something for everyone at the event and professionals from many different career fields who are going to “inspire them to think big.”

Some of those professionals on display were members of the 375th Security Forces Squadron who conducted a demonstration of how they safely use tasers and the effects of being tased.

The 375th SFS also displayed the effectiveness of military working dogs and how they are used for force protection. Senior Airman Eve Cabellero, 375th SFS dog handler, and Kaso, the military working dog, displayed the ways MWDs are used to defend, attack or deter as needed.  

Students moved to various demonstrations inside Hangar 1, learning about the impact STEAM has on Scott units such as the 375th Medical Group and the Defense Information Security Agency.

For instance, the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight showed how they use advance technology in their career field.

STEAM is “very important to EODs missions,” according to Staff Sgt. Brandon Thomas, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordinance disposal technician. Members of EOD use technology such as metal detectors and robotic platforms to detect and disable explosive ordnance.

“EOD’s robotics platforms are an essential piece of advanced technology that supports the mission,” said Thomas. “The capabilities allow for remote means to identify and render safe explosive hazards while limiting the amount of time that personnel are exposed.”

The day was also marked by the presence of one of the Air Force’s newest aircraft, the KC-46 Pegasus. The first KC-46 was delivered to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, on Jan. 25, 2019. The event gave students an opportunity to be some of the first to see the aircraft outside of its new home.

“Getting the KC-46 here to Scott for STEAM day is important because this is the next greatest technology out there,” said Staff Sgt. Devaughn Granger, 344th Air Refueling Squadron boom operator for the KC-46.  “That’s what STEAM day represents and so being able to show these kids this is what you can do if you use science and technology … [makes it very] cool in my eyes.”

Granger said that the students got to see the difference in technology between the KC-135 Stratotanker that’s been in service since 1957 and the new KC-46 Pegasus, showcasing Air Force “STEAM” initiatives as well.

 Meyer added that the goal for the day was to inspire and teach, while having fun, and have begun planning for next year’s STEAM day targeting students who haven’t had the opportunity to visit Scott in this way.