Local STEM clubs receive grants courtesy of ITEA

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Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit

Students from local schools get to look out the observation area on the third floor of the Integrated Facility for Avionics Systems Test. The International Test and Evaluation Association’s local Antelope Valley chapter held its annual grant luncheon there where seven school clubs received grants to further advance their programs.

Desert High School’s Scorpion Robotics club was joined by names like the Science Jets, Cyberpatriots and Team 399 Eagles Robotics, for the 2016 Antelope Valley Chapter of the International Test and Evaluation Association Grants Luncheon held April 21.

Desert High School is located on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

About $7,500 in grants were given to seven local schools’ robotics and science, technology, engineering and math teams.

This year’s annual grant luncheon was held at the Integrated Facility for Avionics Systems Test where the grants were awarded during a lunch provided by local restaurant Domingo’s. The potential scientists and engineers of the future were also given tours of the flight simulators in the IFAST.

“The children are our future, so if we can inspire the kids to pursue careers in science and technology; to be able to understand the importance of engineering and mathematics, that is really the fundamental goal of our organization,” said Sean Conway, 412th Range Squadron, Information Technology specialist and 2016 ITEA grants chairman. “We’re giving back to the kids and allowing them to see where they can go in the future if they choose to pursue a career in science and technology.”

The school clubs that received grants were from DHS, Fulton and Alsbury Academy of Arts and Engineering, Antelope Valley Union High School, Tehachapi High School, Rosamond High School, Joe Walker STEALTH Academy and Paraclete High School.

Each club submitted a grant proposal earlier in the year describing their needs and accomplishments in the areas of STEM.

“Our organization provides these grants to support technology-related programs that will provide a foundation for tomorrow’s engineers and scientists,” Conway said.

The Antelope Valley Chapter of ITEA has given away close to $200,000 in educational grants since their founding in 1996. Conway says ITEA raises funds through monthly luncheons and donations.

ITEA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit education organization with a mission of advancing the exchange of technical, programmatic, and acquisition information among the test and evaluation community. The organization is headquartered in Fairfax, Va., and has chapters throughout the world.