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106th Rescue Wing participates in the 2015 Long Island S.T.E.M. Expo

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Cheran Cambridge
  • 106 Rescue Wing
GARDEN CITY NEW, YORK- 106th Rescue Wing members discuss the importance of
science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M) Expo at the Cradle of Aviation in Long Island, New York.

106th Rescue Wing as well as many long Island colleges and business sent representatives to the Cradle of Aviation to speak to students about the importance of staying in the science, technology, engineering, or math concentrations in school.

Over 350 10th and 11th grade students came from both Queens and long Island
schools and each group rotated every 10-15 minutes to different presenters.

The 106th Rescue Wing has approximately 80 career fields in which all of them include some form of science, technology, engineering, or math. Therefore, the 106th members were happy to be added to the conversation.

"When I was a kid, we didn't have these kinds of conventions. We went on history field trips which didn't really help us with our career advancement or knowing what was out there and available to us," said Lt. Toby Vanholtz, 102nd Rescue Squadron C-130 Navigator.

"Today, the students got to talk to all of us about the opportunities in the Air Force and how their education would get paid for, the experience that would be added  to their resume and how that experience will better them in getting  a civilian career," added Vanholtz.

Tech Sgt. Joseph Piccoli, 103rd Rescue Squadron Pararescueman, while hovering over a stack of anatomy, physiology, chemistry and math books, spoke to the students about the importance of math and science.

"I never thought that I was going to be studying all of this," said Piccoli, while pointing to the stack of the math and science books beneath him. "But because I am a paramedic, I have to be proficient at my job, which is saving lives.  In addition, we also have to use math to calculate our landings with navigators so that we don't land in a tree or somewhere worse" added Piccoli

Airman 1st Class Edward Saller, 106th Communications flight, explained to the students the possibilities they can take advantage of because of all the knowledge shared at the expo. 

"It feels good teaching students about the options they have in life. College is not for everyone and I was glad to see their faces when we told them our different jobs and that we are not all pilots," said Saller

The Cradle of Aviation S.T.E.M Expo seeks to address the issue of retaining students on the Island and to better prepare them for the careers of tomorrow by establishing partnerships between the academic and business communities to develop a workforce with the 21st century skills and education needed for success. The 106th Rescue Wing has participated in this program for five years.