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NAVSEA, NAVAIR, NAVFAC join forces to support STEM education, participate in Tri-Warfare Center Middle School Engineering Challenge

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MARCOA Media
PORT HUENEME, Calif.- To celebrate National Engineers Week, Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme (NSWC PHD) co-sponsored with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) the annual Tri-Warfare Center Middle School Challenge. The event is a team-based engineering problem-solving competition. Fifteen local schools provided teams comprised of five middle school students, math and science teachers and Warfare Center mentors.

The event began with opening remarks from Ramon Flores, NSWC PHD STEM Coordinator, followed by Vance Brahosky, NSWC PHD Deputy Technical Director, with Rich Burr, NAVAIR Director Threat and Target Systems, and Bagrat Minasian, NAVFAC Deputy Technical Director and Chief Technology Officer, also spoke at the event.

"This event works to both inspire and engage middle school students and their teachers to increase their knowledge of STEM careers in the Navy," said Flores.

The teams used creative and analytical thinking to solve a challenging engineering problem. As a team, they constructed a scale bridge, which is an example of a design that meets an engineering need. The teams competed not only on accomplishing the task, but also with their
creative application of math and science principles in creating their solutions.

"It's great connecting with young people," said third year mentor, Joyce Sims, Littoral and Strike Warfare Department engineer. "They are open to learning something new, especially how things work."

The winning team of this year's challenge was Las Colinas Middle School; second place, R. J. Frank Academy of Marine Science and Engineering; third place, Monte Vista Middle School. The annual Tri-Warfare Center Middle School Challenge exposures young people to technical and scientific careers in the Navy, which meets NSWC PHD's Strategic Objective, "To build and shape a mission focused workforce."

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