Exploring Technical Careers and College, Programming, Engineering Design, Creative Robotics, and all Hands-On STEM Education Strategies
Virginia Tech's DC Metro Area Thinkabit Lab STEM Education and Workforce Development Programs is the longest-serving collaborator in the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab network. The mission of our Thinkabit Lab is to serve Washington, D.C. area students, teachers, administrators, parents, and collaborators in technical career exploration and the hands-on electronic and programming foundations of IOT and Smart Cities, AI and robotics automation, sensors, actuators, and data collection and analysis.
In doing so, we are preparing our future STEM workforce and our increasingly diverse, technology-driven community for jobs that may not yet exist. The VT-DC STEM Labs team will work with like-minded teams, organizations and individuals interested in promoting curiosity, innovation, creativity, and students’ self-actualization and self-determination.
Friday, February 1, 2019
New Fort Belvoir Army Museum
We're fortunate to have a growing relationship with Fort Belvoir and specifically the US Army Historical Society. Their museum will have an important STEM education opportunity to explore the history of technology.
PHOTOS: ‘America’s Army museum’ begins taking shape at Fort Belvoir | WTOP
“When the doors open in 2020, this is America’s Army museum,” said Tammy Call, director of the National Museum of the U.S. Army. “We show the relationship between American society and our army as we formed, as we have fought, as we protect this nation.”
High on a hill on the grounds of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the museum will be accessible to the public from the Fairfax County Parkway and have free admission.
All those black panels, lined up like a platoon, will hold the stories of individual soldiers. The museum will have a soldier’s perspective. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Space covering more than three football fields will feature immersive, interactive experiences and actual artifacts such as Civil War cannons and World War I tanks.
“The landing craft you see here was actually in D-Day,” said Patrick Jennings, chief of programs and education at the museum. “The Sherman tank you can see in our WW II gallery is the first Sherman tank that assisted the 101st (Airborne) at Bastogne.”
"Huey" Installed At National Museum Of The United States Army
This UH-1B Iroquois “Huey” helicopter is being installed at the National Museum of the United States Army, which is expected to open in 2020 in Fort Belvoir. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Exhibits and theaters will help visitors feel as if they’re part of the action. Walking directly over foxholes in the immersive World War I experience, artillery explosions will sound with flashes of light. In the Army theater, seats will rumble as tanks are shown passing over desert sands and wind will blow your hair as helicopters fly overhead.
The museum is a work-in-progress with exhibits being built around larger artifacts, some not visible through protective wrapping.
On Thursday, a UH-1B Iroquois “Huey” helicopter was lifted to the ceiling of the museum’s historic gallery section using an elaborate system of chains and pulleys. The chopper suffered combat damage during its 1965 to 1973 tour in South Vietnam before being brought back to the States.
The only tank manned by U.S. troops in World War I in Germany will also be on display. “When we were restoring this tank, they found over a thousand bullet holes in this tank,” Susan Smullen of the museum said. “They actually found one bullet still lodged in the tread.”
A learning space designed for youngsters will help students develop G-STEM skills as they work in teams to complete Army missions.
The museum hopes to also entertain the very young. “We have a little playground we call Fort Discover,” Jennings said, emphasizing that the museum should prove interesting to all ages.
“Everyone can come here, have fun and learn something,” Jennings added.
There’s no set date yet for the museum’s opening in 2020.
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