INDIAN HEAD, Md. — Despite an early morning snowstorm on the morning of March 12, with gale force winds blowing the snow completely parallel to the ground, volunteers and attendees packed the floor of St. Charles High School to attend the Charles County Public Schools’ (CCPS) History, Industry, Technology and Science (HITS) Expo. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, volunteers from Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) returned to the event to showcase some of the command’s lifesaving technologies and put a few smiles on some faces along the way.
The event combined the CCPS history and science fairs with various STEM demonstrations, to include the SeaPerch underwater robotics competition.
“The 2022 Charles County Public Schools’ HITS Expo was a very successful return to an in-person format of the program,” said Jack Tuttle, a CCPS social studies content specialist and event organizer. “The expo included approximately 40 interactive presentations highlighting history, industry, technology and science programs throughout the school system. All of these engaging sessions helped make the program a great success this year.”
Students who visited the NSWC IHD booth learned about the critical technologies developed by one of the county’s largest employers. The command’s display included a fighter pilot ejection seat to give students and their parents a visual understanding of the instrumental role command technology plays in ensuring a pilot successfully ejects during an emergency. Attendees also had a hands-on opportunity to touch and ask questions on an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot display to emphasize how this technology keeps EOD operators safe while deployed.
“It really is a great opportunity for us to come back after a two-year hiatus and demonstrate to the students these students what a background in STEM can lead to,” said NSWC IHD Chief Technology Officer Dr. Kerry Clark. “It also allows the command to showcase the critical work done here to give our fleet and joint service warfighter the ability to return home safely.”
NSWC IHD — a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics, and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.