Hammer time! Girl Scouts learn metalwork

by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Troop 50 Girl Scouts earn badges while learning life skills and toured the 51st Maintenance Squadron on Mar. 28, 2018, to learn about safety and the fundamentals of working with metal.

During the tour, four girls and two troop leaders learned how to safely mark, cut, punch and bend metal fragments which provided them some of the basics of safety, engineering and construction.

“My goal is to show these young ladies some of the things we do, so they can gain experience for the future,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Edward De Alejandro, 51st MXS aircraft structural maintenance section chief. “We want them to know the mindset of what we do here. There’s a chance that possibly in the future one of these young ladies may join the Air Force and become a structural maintainer.”

The tour highlighted simple tools, such as hammers and scribes, which leaves a permanent mark on metal. They learned about rivets and how to install them. After the tour, they took home a small aluminum box with their name etched into it and experience of training in metalwork.

According to the Girl Scouts of America, “Everything a Girl Scout does centers around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the outdoors, development of life skills and entrepreneurship, and is designed grow with her experiences. Whether she’s building a robotic arm, coding her first app, building a shelter in the backcountry or packing for her first hike, a Girl Scout has an exciting array of opportunities at every age.”

Stacie Pollock, a Troop 50 leader, echoes the Girl Scout’s empowering sentiment and wants an educational push for girls into STEM fields.

“People may not necessarily associate girls with woodworking and metalworking, but they love it,” she said. “My daughter loves working with her hands, and she helps her father build furniture every time we move. She loves math and science. You can see what sparks their interest. I want them to try different things. I don’t want her to think, ‘I shouldn’t do that because people don’t think I should.’ I want her to have a, ‘Go try it, even if you’re a little scared,’ mentality.”

What’s next for Troop 50? Pollock said her scouts can look forward to a STEM fair at the Osan Middle High School.

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