OXNARD, Calif. —
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) professionals recently waded into the realm of junior high school classrooms to spread the word about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Led by Ramon Flores, NSWC PHD’s STEM coordinator, members spent part of their day at Charles Blackstock Junior High School opening up the world of STEM to students during the school’s career day.
“We know these students are very young, but we want to introduce them and inspire them to pursue STEM programs,” said Flores.
“We want them to start thinking about careers in the sciences and technology and engineering,” he added. “Now is the time. If they want to take calculus, they have to start with algebra now.”
Al DeLeon, an electrical engineer and division manager, said he was happy to be at the career day to inspire students.
“I’m from a low-income family in the Philippines,” said DeLeon. “English is not my first language. I just want to share my story with them and show them the path I took, and how it led me to become an electrical engineer.”
Song Lim Lee, a planner and logistician, had a similar desire to share her story.
“I just like to contribute something to the community and interact with the young students,” she said.
Leaving active duty for the Navy, Lee joined NSWC PHD in 2005. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in accounting, she won an internship at the command, working it into a full-time career. She is still a Naval reservist.
“Mathematics can lead to interesting and exciting careers,” she told the students.
“The bottom line is we want to inspire, educate and eventually employ these students,” Flores said.