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NEWS | Jan. 9, 2016

STEMming from the community

By Sgt. Aaron Ellerman 204th Public Affairs Detachment

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of high school students from around the region descended upon Sunset Station Jan. 8 in San Antonio.

The students traveled to the area to take part in the U.S. Army’s Ten80 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math festival (STEMfest). 

STEMfest connects industry, education and community by teaching middle and high school students the importance of real-world math, science and engineering problem solving. Local businesses and industry partners, like the Army, collaborate to formulate problem solving challenges relating to their industries. These challenges are designed to encourage students to take their best shot at developing a solution. 

“It was really great how the speakers and presenters were able to directly tie in what they do to relate to what the students are currently working on in school,” said Jedd Faulkner, a college counselor at Maynard High School.

Events like STEMfest are part of the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl week and provide the Army a platform to engage local communities, support the development of America’s future leaders and allow Americans the opportunity to better understand how the Army tackles some of the toughest challenges that face our nation.

“The Army definitely has to be involved in community engagements like this. It is our job to not only defend this nation but to help the community grow and develop,” said Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Muniz, U.S. Army recruiter and El Paso native.

“The Army’s involvement is a constant factor in educating young people about the opportunities in this country,” said Faulkner.

Participating in STEMfest allows students to gain insight and cultivate interest in a future career path. For some students, participation even leads to wonderful internship opportunities with local businesses.

The AAB events showcase the many options and opportunities available through Army service. Whether it’s active duty or Reserve, all of these components make up a winning organization – an organization that makes a difference at home and abroad.

“By having forums and events like this, it allows students to see what the Soldiers do and how they can serve their country while also expanding their education and abilities to gain exposure in the job market,” said Faulkner.

“This type of event is important because it brings a lot of young people together and teaches them how to work in a group, sharing ideas to come up with solutions to problems,” said Muniz.

Muniz and the other Soldiers supporting the event agreed it was important to emphasize  
key Army attributes, like adaptability and versatility, which enables them to prevail in challenging situations.

The event also included a performance by DJ Crespo, a popular electronic dance music DJ. The performance provided an avenue for the kids to relax and let loose after the mentally exhausting day.