An estimated 8,000 students and teachers from the Antelope Valley and as far away as Fresno and San Diego attended the free STEM Expo at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2022.
The main hangar had more than 60 hands-on displays of static airplanes, rocketry, robotics, educational booths, flight simulators, virtual reality experiences, STEM experiments, and speakers meant to encourage interest in technology and math studies.
Students from grade five up to high school wandered in and out of the hangar to view aerial and static displays and pick up swag and information from booths. Various units of the U.S. Air Force’s 412th Test Wing at Edwards took part including medical, the Test Pilot School, civil engineering, operations, security, support squadron, maintenance. Members of the 812th Aircraft Instrumentation and 812th Explosive Ordinance Disposal were involved as well.
Booths from aerospace leaders like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and NASA, encouraged students to follow STEM-related careers, as did speakers like a test pilot, astronaut, engineer, software developer, technical directors, and Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, commander of the 412th Test Wing.
Lancaster and Rosamond high schools put their robots through their paces to spur interest in the robotics teams, and other schools with booths were Antelope Valley Unified School District, Daisy Gibson Elementary STEAM, iLead Charter Schools, Antelope Valley College, Cal State Bakersfield, and Bakersfield College.
About 15,000 children applied to attend, but school bus driver shortage made it impossible for almost half that number.