by 2nd Lt. Darren Domingo
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
8/18/2015 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Schriever kids can be rock stars this month; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics rock stars that is.
STEM Rocks!, a festival that celebrates and increases interest in STEM
fields, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29, at the
Peterson Air and Space Museum.
Attendees will be able to participate in various activities related to
the technical fields of STEM while having fun in a family-friendly
"Essentially, STEM programs are important for our children and the
younger generation," said Capt. Leilani Distaso, National Security Space
Institute Space 200 assistant course director and military lead for the
event. "This event is meant to reinforce interest in STEM related
The event is for kids in kindergarten through 8th grade and their families.
This will be the fourth year STEM Rocks! has been held at Peterson Air
Force Base. Alongside the military organizers for the event, additional
partners and sponsors for STEM Rocks! are the Peterson Air and Space
Museum and the Challenger Learning Center.
Distaso explained this year's event should be bigger and better than ever.
"I'm excited to have a huge turnout," she said. "This is for the
community. [The event] was previously held at Buckley Air Force Base,
but since we have a larger pool of military in the area, we generally
have more participants."
There will be approximately 25 exhibits from agencies off and on base.
Some of the many activities include crawl-through caves, rocket
launching, underwater rovers, hurricane simulators, glider building,
dinosaur investigations, interacting with wild animals and exploring
"[Kids] can look forward to hands-on activities like building rockets,
working under water rovers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal
demonstrations where they can drive the actual robot," said Tech. Sgt.
James Mikkelsen, Space 200 flight chief.
Free giveaways will also be available along with the learning experience, Distaso said.
"Along with the free goodies (such as a free shirt), kids will be able
to go through every single booth and learn about new things," said
Distaso. "Some unique exhibits include magic shows from the United
States Air Force Academy STEM team, a Security Forces K-9 exhibit and a
USAFA jazz band ensemble."
Additionally, agencies from the local community, such as Boeing and
Lockheed Martin, will set up their own specific booths for kids.
"I am excited to have all the great organizations coming back once again
this year to provide the hands-on STEM experience to our school-aged
kids," said Mikkelson.
Distaso explained the event is completely free to military families and
wanted to encourage volunteers from Schriever to participate.
"We need volunteers for each of the days, especially the day of [the
event]," she said. "Space operators would be a great help. Kids will ask
questions and they would be able to answer it. They'll get a great
thrill out of it."
Volunteers can help set up Aug. 28, the day before the main event, as
well Aug. 29. Volunteers for the day of event will receive a free
STEM Rocks! is a free event, open to all Department of Defense ID card
holders. For more information about the event or volunteer
opportunities, call 719-556-4228.