NASA STEM EPDC plays role in Guinness World Record for largest field trip at NAS Oceana Air Show

On September 20, 2019 – Sunday, September 22, 2019, NASA Langley’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM) provided hands-on demonstrations and experiences designed to highlight and share NASA’s work to inspire the future STEM workforce at the NAS Oceana Airshow.  Along with Langley’s OSTEM team, the Office of Strategic Analysis, Communications and Business Development (OSACB) and the Engineering Directorate contributed to “shattering” the Guinness World record for the largest educational field trip to date by engaging with over 8,000 students at the Oceana Air Show in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  NASA Langley Research Center shared multiple learning opportunities on topics such as the forces of flight, fabrication technology and wind tunnel testing, CubeSat’s, 3D printing, cloud types and how students can become a junior researcher with the GLOBE Program as well as opportunities to learn about NASA Internships and competitions that contribute to NASA’s missions.  Additionally, OSTEM provided a virtual reality (VR) learning experience on the International Space Station and the Commercial Crew Program.

190920-N-OC333-022 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Sept. 20, 2019) Students attending the 2019 Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show STEM Lab Learning Day watch a demonstration at a STEM exhibit. The NAS Oceana STEM Lab Learning Day is the largest field trip in the world, bringing over 8,000 students from Virginia Beach City Public Schools and Chesapeake Public Schools to the NAS Oceana Air Show to learn about topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark Thomas Mahmod/Released)

Friday was designated as a STEM field trip experience for 5th graders from Chesapeake and Virginia Beach Public Schools with more than 8,000 in attendance.  Dr. Dan Cherry, Director of OSTEM, spoke to the crowd of students in the afternoon and encouraged students to keep their grades up and consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and reminded them that they are the next generation of explorers, the Artemis generation.  Saturday and Sunday were attended by the general public and it is estimated that over 149,000 attended on Saturday and 52,000 on Sunday.  Dr. Dave Bowles, Langley’s Center Director, addressed the crowd in the afternoon and shared that NASA has contributed to aeronautical research on all of the airplanes that were on display or flown during the airshow.  He also personally visited the OSTEM learning stations and shared in the excitement of NASA’s work.

The Office of STEM Engagement would like to thank NASA Langley Research Center leadership and the following Langley mission directorates for sharing their time, talent and experiences with students and the general public:  Carrie Rhoades (OSACB), Tom Burns (Metals Application Technology Branch), Sam James (Fabrication Technology Development Branch, and Jessica Taylor (Atmospheric Composition Branch).  Additionally, we would like to thank NASA Headquarters and Glenn Research Center for their contributions to this event as well.

OSTEM would also like to thank the many staffers, educators, and students who contributed to the success of the event to help inspire America’s future workforce to pursue STEM Careers.  For additional information about this event, please contact Melanie Robinson-Holman (x42660, melanie.l.robinson@nasa.gov) or Rosemary Smith (x49208, rosemary.l.smith@nasa.gov.)