Capt. Heathra King, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District operations officer, interacts with a student during a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) event held at Humphreys Central Elementary School, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, May 23.
Capt. Heathra King, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District operations officer, interacts with a student during a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) event held at Humphreys Central Elementary School, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, May 23.

FED personnel make connections through STEM

by Antwaun J. Parrish
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — Laughter, excitement, and joy filled the air of Humphreys Central Elementary School as students and their parents were transported to an interactive learning lab.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Far East District (FED), along with Humphreys Central Elementary School, hosted a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) event, May 23.

The district often provides volunteers to create and host stands that include various interactive experiments covering subjects within the STEM realm. This event was held in the evening so that parents could be involved in this learning experience with their children.

Rick Taylor, Humphreys Central Elementary School STEM coordinator, has been involved with the program for over four years.

“For the past four years I have been working with Jennifer Moore [FED Air Force Program & Business Process, and Report Branch chief], and she is great to work with and she always brings in fantastic volunteers, “ said Taylor. “They create some stations that are interactive and hands on for the kids; they are just great partners to work with.”

For the past few years, Camp Humphreys has undergone a major transformation, due in part to the Yongsan Relocation Program (YRP). With the ongoing construction on base and students constantly being exposed to construction processes, the STEM program can help them understand how projects are developed.

“Those real world connections are what it’s all about,” said Taylor. “We try to get the kids involved with the elements of STEM with a hands-on approach as much as we can with our projects.”

Taylor went on to say that by having stations developed that are relevant in the real world it allows the kids to make powerful learning connections.

Jaime Narin, a fifth grade teacher, was in attendance with her daughter Jaichelle Narin, a second grade student.

Narin stated that she expected her daughter to come and have lots of fun while participating in various STEM activities, and her expectations were surpassed.

As a teacher, Narin understands the importance of education and is appreciative of the efforts that went behind developing the STEM parent’s night.

“I appreciate everyone that is here this evening and volunteering their time,” said Narin. “From the teachers and staff to the soldiers and everyone here on base. The school did a great job of putting this event on for our school and our community.”

Community engagement is a vital asset for the district as it helps bridge resources and continued support for our mission here in South Korea.

“I really appreciate the partnership that has developed over the years with the Corps of Engineers,” said Taylor. “I contact them [FED] early in the year and let them know when it’s [STEM event] going to be, and I can count on them coming and putting on some great stations for our kids so they can learn.”

The district is also scheduled to support an all-day STEM event at Humphreys West Elementary School, May 30.

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