Uplift Hampton scholars explore STEM at Lockheed Martin and The North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking

DSC_0256The term STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, can sometimes be a little vague for scholars looking into these career fields. So, when the opportunity arises to illustrate these career fields, Uplift teachers are quick to action. Last week, 33 Uplift Hampton juniors and seniors got the unique opportunity to explore two specific examples of STEM careers while visiting Lockheed Martin and the North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking.

Scholars started their day by visiting the Ft. Worth Lockheed Martin facility. Deep inside the heart of the Lockheed Martin facility, scholars sat in the very auditorium where Lockheed officials hold their meetings and presentations. There, scholars got an inside look at the kind of work that is done at Lockheed Martin and the variety of career options that are available to them.

After the presentation, scholars met with Mark Goolsbay, an engineer for Lockheed Martin. They asked him a variety of questions and got a firsthand account of his day-to-day operations. They also tested their engineering abilities and engaged in some friendly competition as they broke up into teams to see who could build the tallest tower out of nothing but paper, scissors, and tape.

“The importance of exposing young scholars to the STEM field is absolutely vital. Our country is relying on hard-working young minds to bring us into the future. Engineering is important because it brings us things like fuel-efficient cars, faster computers, and most importantly—keeping us safe. Here at Lockheed Martin, we need these young minds to stay on the cutting edge of technology. We are a world leader in innovation and design but will have to close our doors if we cannot create excitement for STEM. Lockheed Martin will have plenty of exciting jobs for the talented students of Uplift Hampton!” said Mark.

After the presentation and Q & A session, scholars jumped on golf carts and received a guided tour of the production line of an F35 Lightning II. Scholars saw the many components that go into making an F35, from parts to completion.

“I thought the trip to Lockheed Martin was really cool. It was so interesting to see how the aircraft that are used every day are built, especially the ones that are used in the military,” said Shantia Henderson, 11th grader at Uplift Hampton.

During the second part of the day, Uplift Hampton scholars shifted their attention from the huge production facility at Lockheed Martin to a smaller, very different side of STEM. From fighter jets to watches, Uplift Hampton scholars became the first school to ever tour the North American Institute for Swiss Watchmaking or NAIOSW.

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While at the institute, scholars met with the very dedicated instructors and students that make up the school. Scholars were divided into groups and received personal presentations about different aspects that go into building and repairing a luxury watch.

Scholars saw firsthand the different technical, mental and creative skills that one must have in order to successfully make a watch.

Since scholars were divided into groups of four or five, they really had a chance to truly connect with the current students and instructors at NAIOSW, and saw the passion that they had both for their work and for sharing what they do with others.

“I really believe that we have one of the most exciting professions in the world. What motivates me as a teacher is that I love to share learning and my experience with people, so that they can have as good a career as I feel that I’ve had in this industry. Scholars are important to us because our profession isn’t widely known. We want to expose as many scholars as we can to what we do and hope that someday after they’ve graduated college, that they’ll at least think of this profession and hopefully it’ll parlay into something for them in their career,” said Stanley McMahan, NAIOSW instructor.

At the end of the day, every scholar went home having learned something new.

“You never really say, ‘Oh I want to be a watchmaker.’ It was a very unique opportunity and it was cool to see how the students were so passionate about what they do. I learned that you have to have steady hand and be very dedicated to make a great watch,” said Uplift Hampton 11th grader, Alex Green.

Field trips like these are integral to bringing the STEM field to life for many scholars. Scholars can take these concrete examples and use them to look into themselves and fuel their own passions. In the end, these passions can inspire our scholar to become truly innovative leaders in the coming future.

To see pictures of the scholar’s time at the North American Institute for Swiss Watchmaking, click here!

If you want to learn more about the STEM program at Uplift Hampton, click here!

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