For Immediate Release: Aug. 4, 2021
By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—Science and technology enthusiasts were treated to a day of educational fun at the Navy League STEM Expo, held Sunday, Aug. 1, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.
The free event gave local students the opportunity to engage and be inspired by all things STEM—or science, technology, engineering and math. It also enabled them to learn about a deadline extension and potential prizes for the Naval Horizons student essay contest—organized by the Department of the Navy’s (DoN) Naval STEM Coordination Office, located at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
Hosted by the Navy League STEM Institute, the Expo was geared toward students in grades five through 12. Along with offering attendees lots of hands-on activities, the event provided middle and high school students with an introduction to naval STEM careers and educational opportunities.
Representatives from the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and naval-related industries shared their experiences and talked about STEM careers and the qualifications needed for various STEM jobs.
“Naval STEM presence at the Expo allows students, parents and educators to learn more about naval STEM opportunities through interactive demonstrations,” said Sandy Landsberg, who is both the Naval STEM Coordination Office executive and a division director in ONR’s Information, Cyber and Spectrum Superiority Department. “Showcasing our people’s talents at a large event like this allows us to connect with a broader audience in a personal way, especially when that audience has maritime interests.”
Representatives at the DoN Naval STEM booth discussed with attendees the Naval Horizons outreach initiative and the deadline extension for its student essay contest.
Naval Horizons is designed to introduce high school students to cutting-edge topics impacting the Navy and Marine Corps. It does so through engaging online videos covering more than 20 research areas—including autonomy, oceanography, cybersecurity and undersea medicine. In each video, naval scientists and engineers discuss their work.
High school students are invited to learn about naval research topics by watching the videos. They then submit a short essay that explains how they’re inspired by naval research and the naval workforce—and even provide a future vision for the Navy and Marine Corps.
The essay contest will close at 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 9; the original deadline was July 30. Winners will be announced on Aug. 30. Judges will select up to 5,000 winners, all of whom will receive cash prizes. Those interested in learning about the Naval Horizons contest should visit https://navalhorizons.us.
“By extending the essay deadline, we allow eligible students attending the STEM Expo to have an opportunity to view the Naval Horizons videos and participate in the student essay contest,” said Landsberg. “Virtual opportunities, like Naval Horizons, allow for STEM education and outreach to continue long after exhibit halls have closed.”
At the Expo, the DoN also hosted nine booths highlighting various naval labs, commands and warfare centers. Among these was the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Patuxent River, which brought its Mobile Digital Fabrication Laboratory, called FabLab, specializing in 3D printing, laser cutting and other capabilities. Other exhibits included hands-on demonstrations in hydraulics, robotics, flight and more.
The Navy League of the United States is an educational and advocacy organization supporting U.S. sea services: the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. The STEM Expo helped kick off the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition, held Aug. 2-4, which is the largest maritime expo in the United States.
Warren Duffie Jr. is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and nonprofit institutions, and more than 960 industry partners. ONR, through its commands, including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.