VCJCS issues STEM challenge to Hanscom AFB students

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Navy Admiral Christopher Grady, accompanied by his wife, Christine, visited Hanscom Middle School here April 23 to participate in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics challenge.

The event, for HMS students from grades 6 through 8, highlighted the importance of STEM education.

“It was great to see energy and passion beaming from such innovative young minds,” said Grady. “Creativity and teamwork are life skills that will prepare them to solve wicked hard problems and play a core role in society. Christine and I are very proud of them.”

The goal of the event was to nurture STEM expertise as an alternative to the traditional way of doing things and to prepare future generations to contribute in our nation's security.

The exercise, dubbed the Tallest Paper Tower Challenge, is based on the real-world challenge of designing an observation tower.

“I was so proud of students and teachers regarding their preparation for this visit. The Admiral took genuine time with each group of students, and it was a fantastic visit,” wrote Erich Ledebuhr, HMS principal, in an update to families.

Throughout the challenge, Grady engaged with students and educators, presenting his coin to the winning team and providing “VCJCS STEM Challenge” bags to all participants.

The visit underscores the Department of Defense's commitment to strengthening educational initiatives that support military children and local communities.

Christine Grady, involved in various educational programs, also participated, assisting students with their projects.

Following the school event and a tour of the Hanscom AFB schools, Mrs. Grady toured base facilities to meet with 66th Air Base Group support personnel.