Sgt. Ryan Manke, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and a McMinnville, Ore., native, speaks about the Mk 3 Mod. 0, a robot used to disable or relocate explosives during a robotics tournament at Bernardo Heights High School in San Diego, March 20,
2012. The Marines, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., presented three machines to students ranging from kindergarten to high schoolers
taking part in the robotics program. Photo by USMC Pfc. Christopher Johns
SAN DIEGO (3/20/2012) – Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines with
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aboard Marine Corps Air
Station Miramar, Calif., demonstrated robotic technology to children
from Poway Unified School District at Bernardo Heights High School
in San Diego, March 20.
The Marines set up the demonstration
to show children in the robotics program what their interests could
possibly turn into later.
“We gave the students a small
capability brief and some insights into the platforms we use,” said
Capt. Erin Roush, the EOD officer-in-charge with Headquarters and
Headquarters Squadron and a Denver native. “We told them about how
we use [the robots] for our job. [We] also gave them some motivation
and ideas about what robotics can do to either further their careers
or for application later on in life.”
The Marines presented
each of the three robots to students ranging from kindergarten
to high schoolers taking part in the robotics program.
“The reason they do this is for
science, technology, engineering and math,” said Roush.
“They call it the S.T.E.M. Program, which doesn't just
advance [the students'] skills in those areas, but it allows
for learning leadership as well, which is key.”
Marines brought in the Mk 3 Mod. 0 Remote Ordnance
Neutralization System, which is used for stateside missions.
The Marines also showed the students the Mk 2 “Talon” and
the PackBot Tactical Robot, all designed to assist EOD
technicians with public safety endeavors to show the
students what robotics benefits outside of hobbies.
“It gives [the students] a chance to see the end user, and
see what can materialize out of those years of hard work
that they put into something,” said Roush. “It might seem
fun to them now, but it has a real-world application,
especially in the world of public safety and the military.”
After the brief was completed, the students flooded
around Marines and machines to see how the machines could
move up-close. Once finished looking over the EOD robots,
the students watched as robotics teams from all the schools
in the district competed with their student-built robots
against one another.
“The kids were pretty excited
to see some of the equipment we use,” said Sgt. Charles
Huntley, an EOD technician with Headquarters and
Headquarters Squadron and a Glendale, Ariz., native. “[The
students] were definitely very excited to get their hands on
them, and we were pretty happy to let them do that.”
After the event was over, the EOD Marines packed up the
equipment for display to head home, having shown the
students there is something they can do with the hobby they
hold dear. Even if students of Poway Unified School District
are only learning for fun now, with hard work, and
dedication, they can make products that the Marine Corps
could use to keep the public and America safe.
More photos available below
By USMC Pfc. Christopher Johns
Marine Corps Air
Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
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