Air Force Academy Hosts STEM Educators

Mr. David Arrington, a technical laboratory assistant, explains a tensile strength test he is performing for STEM teachers from across the country during their visit to the Academy August 4. Image Source: U.S. Air Force photo/Harry Lundy

Mr. David Arrington, a technical laboratory assistant, explains a tensile strength test he is performing for STEM teachers from across the country during their visit to the Academy August 4. Image Source: U.S. Air Force photo/Harry Lundy

Colorado Springs, Colorado. August 7, 2014 – Teachers from across the nation visited the U.S. Air Force Academy this week to participate in an interactive event designed to showcase how the Air Force supports learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies.

During the visit, teachers from 24 states attended the Air Force and the For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology Leadership Experience which included character and leadership classes designed to teach educators how to better inspire students in their respective states.

The event was sponsored in part by the Air Force Recruiting Service with the goals of garnering national STEM support, and making teachers aware of what the Academy offers prospective cadets. The teachers also toured the Mechanical, Aeronautic and Astronautic labs and took part in a Cyber Warrior Experience.

“We could have shown classrooms, but we wanted to provide a more interactive and hands-on experience, which the teachers are accustomed to when working with their robotics teams,” said Col. Marcus Johnson, AFRS chief of strategic marketing.

This was the first visit to the Academy for the teachers.

“I thought it was for training people to protect our country,” said Darcie Fregoe, a sixth-grade teacher of earth science at Madison Elementary School, Massena, New York. “I had no idea that the Air Force Academy was a STEM-oriented college. That was eye opening for me.”

Admissions staff explained the Academy enrollment process in the hopes the teachers would share the information with their students.

“I come from rural New York where a lot of students qualify and are brilliant and academically challenged and want to go to college, but their family just can’t afford it,” Fregoe said. “I have brilliant students in my robotics program who want to go to college and now I have an option for them.”