NSA holds STEM event for local students

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WEC) - As part of Military Diver Month, the Naval Diving and Salvage Training center held a stem event Friday for students to learn up close about science, technology, engineering and math in the Navy.

Seven Bay County schools and a home school group attended the event.

The kids had the opportunity to tour through two dozen stations that included diver and technology demonstrations. They even got a chance to check out the 40-foot pool where they witnessed underwater construction and watched explosive ordinance disposal divers.

Lieutenant Commander Brad Penley, Executive Officer of the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center, said, "The kids are just so excited, A. to be out of school but B. be seeing this science, technology, engineering, and math that they have to learn on a classroom or through homework and they get to see it in action--people actually using dive physics, dive medicine and then seeing all the robotics which the kids are extremely excited about."

Penley said he hopes to see smart kids like those in attendance come through the naval pipeline one day; something one of the students told us he hopes to do.

Anthony, a local sixth-grade student, said of the experience, "You also get to experience like how the military and the Navy would be. That's just why I want to join it."

Alyssa Pubentz, a dive student at Naval Support Activity Panama City, said, "I think it's really cool because at their age I had no idea that this was even like an option to do in the future so like to show them they can do this one day if they want. It's really cool."

Penley also emphasized Friday's event is important to show students how the stem field is the way of the future for combat.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.