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Museum's Education Division participates in community STEM event

  • Published
  • By Cindy Henry
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Every year, in February, the museum's education staff participates in a very special program known as TechFest. This two-day event is sponsored by the Affiliate Societies Council of Dayton, Ohio and is a free family fun opportunity that stresses education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Its goal is to excite and motivate students to pursue education and careers in these important fields.

This is the 11th year of Tech Fest and it will be held at Sinclair Community College on the Feb. 16-17. Students and their families are also encouraged to then visit the many local area aviation sites and museums to see what they have learned "in action."

Thousands of students attend over the course of the two days. They can participate and observe nearly a hundred different hands-on activities and demonstrations. Many local and area organizations participate in providing this great experience every year, including many Air Force scientists and engineers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Some of the past activities provided by museum staff have included the principles of flight, rocketry, Newton's Laws of Motion, aircraft structure and fuel cell technology. This year, museum staff plan to focus on the exciting world of nanotechnology. Participants will learn the basics of nanotechnology and see some of the important materials created by this incredible process. Students will even get to experiment with these materials to see how they differ from the original items from which they were derived through this technology.

Museum volunteers assist staff with this effort and all agree that we have as much fun providing this opportunity as do the students, parents and grandparents who experience it! We know that we could be lighting the spark that will fuel an interest in participants to further their studies and careers in the crucial fields of science and technology!

Note: This article originally appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Friends Journal. To receive the Journal and other benefits, become a member of the Air Force Museum Foundation.