Space Systems Group’s (SSG) Space Force Lt. Col. Christopher Evey and Capt. Sam O’Hair are inspiring a younger generation to become interested in space; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); and possibly becoming future Guardians. Both Guardians are doing this as part of the “STEM to Space” initiative—an initiative that links Space Force volunteers with local-area students to talk about the importance of STEM education.
Lt. Col. Christopher Evey, a member of SSG’s Relay Systems Division, recently made front page news for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel when he provided a virtual appearance to a West Virginia elementary school on Dec. 22, 2021. Lt. Col. Evey used this appearance to educate third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders on numerous space topics and how their education can one day turn into careers in space.
Lt. Col. Evey fielded numerous questions from the students, including how spacecraft are operated, what some requirements to join the Space Force are, and some general information about the design process for rocket boosters and satellites.
By the end of the presentation, one third-grader happily stated that they think they might be a Guardian when they’re older.
A PDF version of the full news article from The Parkersburg News and Sentinel can be found here and a PDF version of the full transcript of the article can also be found here.
Capt. Sam O’Hair, a member of SSG’s Terrestrial Systems Division, also recently provided virtual appearances at three different schools across the east coast for the “STEM to Space” initiative.
Capt. O’Hair’s first session was for a Ft. Belvoir homeschool group, providing education to 15 families that joined virtually; his second session was for a seventh-grade honors class at Mary White Ovington Elementary in Brooklyn, NY; and his third session was for three third-grade classes at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
Capt. O’Hair discussed topics such as the USSF’s second birthday, what the Space Force does, how GPS works, how orbits work, details on launching rockets, and more during these sessions. The students were very interested in each topic and asked upwards of 100 questions.
“I was extremely impressed with how great the questions were and how much interest the students had,” he said. “We ran out of time in every single session with lots of hands still in the air and questions still in the chat.”
One of Capt. O’Hair’s favorite questions he got a few times over the course of these sessions was students asking how they could work in space or how they could work for the Space Force.
“I think that’s the best question of all because one of the primary goals of this outreach program is to get kids excited about not just space, but also to highlight one of the ways they can work in the field when they grow up, which is STEM.”
The teacher at Mary White Ovington Elementary was able to film their session and share it with several other classes to continue to spread the information Capt. O’Hair provided. Capt. O’Hair and that teacher are also planning a follow-up session with another one of his classes at a later date.