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STEM bus brings science to life at Mountain Home AFB

The Youth Center hosted the Micron STEM Bus tour with different stations set up for students to explore different aspects of science, technology, engineering and math.

A child tests a plasma ball during a tour on the Micron STEM Bus August 8, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The base Youth Center provided various stations for students to experience science, technology, engineering and math activities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

he Youth Center hosted the Micron STEM Bus tour with different stations set up for students to explore different aspects of science, technology, engineering and math.

A student sits while a temporary tattoo is placed on her hand during a demonstration at the base Youth Center August 8, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The Youth Center hosted the Micron STEM Bus tour with different stations set up for students to explore different aspects of science, technology, engineering and math. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

The Youth Center hosted the Micron STEM Bus tour with different stations set up for students to explore different aspects of science, technology, engineering and math.

Students try out a game recreating an image they see on a tablet during a Micron STEM Bus tour August 8, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The day consisted of students rotating from different stations throughout the Youth Center to experience science, technology, engineering and math activities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Malissa Armstrong)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The base Youth Center partnered with the Micron STEM Bus to bring the world of science, technology, engineering and math to base children.

STEM is an area of focus that looks to prepare children for educational opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The STEM Bus provided the Youth Center a new way to bring the knowledge and excitement of those four fields to students.

Beth Mosier, 366th Fighter Wing Youth Center recreation technician, explains that the center incorporates different projects for the students such as making slime to highlight applied science, and using math and engineering to create catapults.

The Youth Center and the bus provided different stations for exploration. Participants were able to experience hands-on activities such as a thermal finger scanner, a plasma ball, an electrical workstation, 3D doodle pens, virtual reality games and keva blocks.

According to the Air Force STEM website, the service recognizes there is a critical need for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics talent for future technology and innovation efforts within our nation’s STEM workforce.

While children have a few years before they can apply their skills, it all starts with sparking their interests to set them on a path.

“Planting a seed early and giving the youth an opportunity to be curious about what STEM is and how they need to incorporate it in their own daily lives will better prepare them both academically and for their future careers,” Mosier said.

Danica Preble, Micron STEM Bus coordinator said the STEM bus is an important tool because it allows them to bring STEM to the children, eliminating the need for the children to have to travel to a far location to experience it.

“The reason I love this is because [the bus] brings it to them and they don’t necessarily have to afford it or be able to get to Boise or a larger city to go to a discovery center,” Preble said. “I feel like this gets to all communities and it gives kids an opportunity to see if there’s something on this bus or something they learned about in the assembly or in our classroom that sparks an interest in them and they’ll know.”

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