Navy Days L.A. Exposition
Showcases STEM Education
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
About 1,000 students and young people took part in an inaugural Navy League-hosted Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Exposition
during the “kids only” days at Navy Days L.A. 2012 at
the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro Aug. 15-16.
Groups from the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC),
Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, Devil Pups, Boys
and Girls Clubs, Police Activities League, YMCA and
scout groups in Ventura County, Orange County,
Riverside and surrounding communities attended the
event. The STEM Expo was organized to educate students, parents and members of the public touring the
ships taking part in Navy Days L.A. about the importance of STEM education, and the Navy and the country’s
need for more graduates with STEM skills.
The 16th Navy Days L.A. showcased the Arleigh
Burke-class destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, which is
named for the father of the Aegis Integrated Combat
Weapons System that is installed on Navy guided-missile destroyers and cruisers, and the U.S. Coast
Guard 175-foot coastal buoy tender George Cobb,
which is based in San Pedro.
Visitors watch a video presentation at one of 12 stations set
up as part of a Navy League-hosted Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math Exposition at Navy Days L.A. 2012 at
the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro Aug. 15.
The STEM Expo was set up in the port’s World
Cruise Center as a lead-in to a tour of the ships. It featured a dozen booths that introduced visitors to practical problem solving, engineering questions and real-world applications of STEM to the Navy and
Department of Defense community through video presentations and introductory remarks from tour guides
and exhibitors, according to a Navy News Service
report. About 5,000 people passed through the Expo
during the public tour days Aug. 17-18.
Corporate exhibitors at the STEM Expo included
Raytheon Co., General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, L-
3 Communications, Dow Chemical, Sikorsky Aircraft
Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. They offered presentations on naval gun systems, Seahawk helicopters,
the Aegis combat system and the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer.
Other exhibitors included the CyberPatriot high
school competition that is sponsored by the Air Force
Association, the NSCC (which recently signed on to
participate in CyberPatriot), the Navy League, the
Kahn Academy, the SeaPerch remotely operated
underwater vehicle program and Iridescent, a nonprofit organization that helps engineers, scientists
and high-tech professionals bring cutting-edge science, technology and engineering to children and
“It gave them a lot of different ideas to think about
and showed them that there are a lot more resources
available for learning and applying STEM skills than
just what they might get in the classroom,” Grant Ivey,
a Navy League national director with the Santa
Barbara Council and the president of Navy Days L.A.,
Navy Days L.A. is a Navy League nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the U.S.
sea services, their serving members and their needs
through tours, demonstrations, distinguished visitor
embarks and media coverage of the events.
STEM Expo tours were conducted 20 participants at
a time with trained guides. Participants spent a few
minutes at each exhibit, or “station,” viewing its video
presentation. When a whistle blew noting that “time’s
up,” they moved on to the next station. Iridescent also
offered interested participants the opportunity to use
remotely operated vehicles.