FED employees host STEM event which sparks student's interest in Engineering

by Antwaun J. Parrish
Far East District

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Employees of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District, served as instructors at the district’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) events held at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

The STEM events were held May 24 at Humphreys Central Elementary School and May 31 at Humphreys West Elementary School. The STEM event held on May 24 was attended by students as well as their parents, as it was scheduled in the evening.

According to Dr. Jeff McGee, Humphreys West Elementary School principal, these events add an element to the student’s education that they wouldn’t receive until much later.

“We don’t have an engineering program in elementary school,” said McGee. “So the great thing about STEM is that it provides a cohesive opportunity for students to build background knowledge, which they can build on when they get to middle and high school.”

Camp Humphreys is one of the largest overseas military communities, and according to McGee it’s important to use all available resources to enhance the student’s learning capabilities.

“One of our focus areas is to engage our community toward the increase of student learning,” said McGee. “We have wonderful parent volunteers, however, engaging the students in meaningful ways in an educational manner that helps our students learn, that’s a challenge. But in a military community, with so many engineers on our installation, this is a gold seal type of activity that promotes the activity we want to focus on.”

Although the school doesn’t provide an engineering curriculum, it does have a few resources that spark the student’s interest in the subject area.

McGee explained that the STEM program along with the resources the school has, prepares the students for their future and continues to build upon already acquired knowledge.

“We have engineering in education kit Legos, and robotics kits, which the children are always interested in using those kits,” said McGee. “These types of learning activities are things that students remember, and each year we’re able to layer on a new understanding and build a complex type of Lego or robot.”

The district provides these programs to the military community here in South Korea every year. All employees who are a part of the event are volunteers.

“I want to thank the Corps for being such active participants in the lives of our children,” said McGee. “Bringing instructors in from outside the school adds value, further than what we can do internally. So thank you so much.”

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