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Cadets introduce local kids to Cool Science
Cadet 3rd Class Winston Sanks (right) helps set up a rocket demonstration at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs Oct. 13, 2012. Sanks is the assistant cadet in charge for the Academy's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Club, which took part in the Colorado Springs Cool Science Carnival Oct. 13-14. (U.S. Air Force photo/Julie Imada)
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Cadets introduce local kids to Cool Science

Posted 10/18/2012   Updated 10/18/2012 Email story   Print story


by Don Branum
Air Force Academy Public Affairs

10/18/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Leave it to cadets to make science cool.

Cadets in three science-related clubs headed downtown Saturday and Sunday to get schoolchildren interested in what is all-too-often considered a boring or dry career path.

Cadets with the Physics and Astronomy Club and the Chemistry Club performed demonstrations inside classrooms at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs, said Cadet 3rd Class Winston Sanks, the assistant cadet in charge of the Academy's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Club. The STEM Club had exhibits outside, including a guilder-building exercise and a model rocket that they launched.

"We showed off the models and talked to kids," said Sanks, a Colorado Springs native. "Some Civil Air Patrol cadets had questions about the admissions process and the freshman-year experience; we had a lot of freshmen there, and they answered those questions. The younger kids asked about the patches on our flight suits. I was wearing a FalconSat patch, so I explained a little bit about what the FalconSat program is."

The STEM Club's mission is to get people interested in fields related to the sciences. For Sanks, that means doing something he already enjoys.

"Primarily, it's just talking with the kids and getting them excited about stuff they wouldn't have been excited about otherwise," he said.

Approximately 700 schoolchildren, split evenly between boys and girls, attended, Sanks said.

The STEM Club cadets have a busy schedule ahead of them, with a Rocky Mountain BEST robotics competition in Denver Saturday and Oct. 27, a Lego engineering camp for elementary schoolchildren at Challenger Middle School Oct. 30, a FIRST Lego League robotics competition Nov. 17 and a visit to Cesar Chavez Academy later in the year.

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