Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Aviano student rockets to robotics space camp

by Senior Airman Matthew Lotz
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/24/2014 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- On June 26, an Aviano Air Base middle school student will be one of 17 participants to attend the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Robotics Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Drew Gable, 12, son of Lt. Col. Daniel Gable, 31st Operations Support Squadron commander, and Mandi Gable, Department of Defense school tutor, was selected from 250 applicants to attend the academy.

"Drew is curious about everything and is constantly absorbing information like a sponge," said Mandi. "He treats life like a puzzle and just wants to figure out how the world works."

The 5-night program offers young engineers the opportunity to work in teams and explore real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math.

Drew submitted for the contest back in March through the help of a yearly scholarship program offered by the Air Force Personnel Center.

"This camp will help me get better with math and technology and I know that will help me in school," said Drew. "Further into the future, I plan to use this experience to enhance the world's technology and make things safer and better, such as space travel and transportation here on Earth."

Drew's natural talent for engineering grew even more after he decided to join the robotics club at his school, which was advertised over the announcements one day. A few months later, he designed a robot that can automatically grade tests, much like the test-scoring machines used in schools.

"My big goal is to become exceptional in robotics," Drew explained. "I hope that with this camp this year, I can ultimately join the robotics team at the high school, even though I'm only a 7th grader."

Looking to the future, Drew claims that if he doesn't follow in his dad's footsteps and "cross into the blue," he wants to become a robotics engineer.

"Drew is growing and maturing so fast, but still maintains some childhood innocence," said Lt. Col. Gable. "He knocked our socks off by setting such a high goal and then achieving it so quickly."

On top of being awarded the opportunity to go to space camp, Drew was also recognized to participate in a Junior Leadership Seminar hosted by the Department of Defense Education Activity Europe, and won male 6th grader of the year at his school.

"I think next, I'm just going to move on in life and see how it goes," Drew laughed. "I'm going to continue to give myself a task and try to figure out a way to get it done quickly and efficiently using robots."

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