Naval Air Systems Engineers give high schoolers knowledge to build on - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

Naval Air Systems Engineers give high schoolers knowledge to build on

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Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 1:56 pm

Ask a high schooler what their favorite subject is and you’re not always likely to hear them tell you math. Despite the fact that careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics are some of the most important and lucrative prospects for college graduates, they’re not always the most glamorous or appealing. Civilian engineers from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point want to change that.

Derrick White, Naval Air Systems (NAVAIR) Advanced Technology and Integrated Product Team lead and Rose Wagoner, NAVAIR V-22 Drive Systems engineer with MCAS Cherry Point, visited Lejeune High School AP Calculus teacher Jen McHale’s classroom Thursday, May 23 to show McHale and fellow teacher Erin Dawley’s math students what careers are available in the engineering field.

“We need you guys,” White told students. “It’s your job to carry the torch and move technology from where we are now to where future generations will need it.”

“Everyone is hiring engineers,” McHale said.

Along with a presentation detailing the different fields of engineering in the job sector, from aerospace to bioengineering, the engineers also shared their backgrounds and answered student questions. White, a Jacksonville native and son of a Marine, is a White Oak High School graduate. Wagoner’s background included a stint as a financial analyst with Goldman Sachs on Wall Street.

“I met a lot of people with engineering degrees while I was with Sachs,” explained Wagoner. “They like the way we think. We’re problem solvers.”

LHS (grade) Kayla Lazaro asked the engineers whether it was a proclivity for math or science which drew them to the engineering field. Wagoner explained when her interest was piqued.

“When I was in high school, I went to a science camp,” Wagoner said. “Let me be more specific, I was grounded and my parents made me go to science camp. When we were there the instructors had us make a guitar and it was very cool to me that music was a form of engineering.”

The engineers also gave students the chance to participate in a hands-on activity to make towers out of index cards. Breaking off into groups of four, the students aimed to see who could make the tallest tower the fastest while using the fewest resources.

“It uses the principles of engineering in an interesting way,” White said. “You have to look into cost and other aspects. You learn about the engineering design process.”

“There’s so much more to the process than the actual engineering,” Wagoner elaborated. “You’re always accounting for budget and managing your time as well.”

The winning team of students came together to make a structure that fit the criteria of most efficient while another team made a tower measuring 42 inches.

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