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Far East District’s STEAM outreach thrives despite COVID-19 restrictions

Published June 8, 2021

For the second year in a row, United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District (FED) volunteers virtually shared their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) expertise and captured children’s imaginations with engaging STEAM activities, May 27. The event was a part of a relationship with Humphreys Central Elementary School that started in 2013.

“If you’re bored with playing, you can just go to the pool,” explained one student while showcasing his dream house design.

“I see a future engineer!” exclaimed Chad McLeod, chief of Construction Division. 

For the second year in a row, United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District (FED) volunteers virtually shared their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) expertise and captured children’s imaginations with engaging STEAM activities, May 27. The event was a part of a relationship with Humphreys Central Elementary School that started in 2013.

“Many of our volunteers have been passionate about this program for several years,” said FED STEAM coordinator, Denny Headrick. “Our volunteers have done so much to make these events really special, and the longevity of the program really speaks to the consistent support that we’ve received from Far East District leadership and the school’s faculty.”

FED volunteers designed six STEAM activities, recorded and edited videos demonstrating those activities, and encouraged the kids to ask questions. Activities ranged from crafting a speaker tube to discovering local frogs and creating a bouncing egg. Additionally, a team from FED’s Engineering Division, led by Sarah Woo and Haekyung Kim, put together a video tour of the Division’s environmental lab and answered questions during a Q&A session.

“I volunteered because I wanted to be a part of helping to develop young people’s skills in STEAM,” said JJ Lindor, an FED volunteer and logistics property book officer. “It’s a joy to witness the excitement in their eyes when they talk about their projects. The exploration of creative thoughts and innovative ideas result in mind-blowing ventures.”

Another volunteer, Jeong Hae-woo, a chemist, applauded the children’s creativity.

“They drew and described the house with their imagination, not the general structure of the house,” he said. “The child who drew a dance practice area and danced was the most memorable."

Rick Taylor, Humphreys Central Elementary School (HCES) STEAM facilitator, praised the event.

 “The HCES STEAM Month event, in partnership with Corps of Engineers, is an invaluable opportunity for our students and the community. Our students have an opportunity to engage in real-world, hands-on STEAM activities designed by Corps of Engineers volunteers,” he said. “It is incredible to see these interactions, and to hear back from the students and teachers how much they enjoy them and how valuable they are.”

“These activities also involve families participating together and working on the projects at home,” said Taylor. “HCES has heard so much positive feedback from our parents about how much the families enjoy the STEAM Month activities, and the Corps of Engineers activities in particular. I am thankful for this partnership and how much it has benefitted our students and can’t wait for the next year!”