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STEAM events inspire area students

  • Published
  • By Story by Tech. Sgt. Chelsea E. FitzPatrick
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 60 Oakland County high school students convened at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, March 13, 2024, when organizers of the 2024 Selfridge Open House and Air Show hosted an event to educate students on opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, with a military tie-in. The event is part of a STEAM series of events planned as a precursor to the 2024 Selfridge Open House and Air Show, which will include a STEAM expo during the June 8-9 event.

“We believe that education in STEAM-related fields is essential in preparing our youth for the challenges of the 21st century,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Kraig Lohse, an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft pilot assigned to the 107th Fighter Squadron, Michigan National Guard, and the 2024 Selfridge OHAS director. “The STEAM fields are essential for preparing youth for the challenges of the 21st century.”

Groups of students rotated through different indoor stations in the conference hall where they spoke to Stephanie Mead, a meteorologist from a local news station, observed demonstrations from the International Academy of Macomb robotics team, spoke to Chevrolet automobile engineers about the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and designed an art project with representatives from the Paint Creek Art Center.

Outside, spectators watched a CH-47 Chinook aircraft land, then were able to tour the helicopter and speak to the crew.

“What we are here to talk to you about today is flying that incredible piece of machinery,” U.S. Army Capt. Austin Westmoreland, a CH-47 Chinook aircraft pilot from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment General Support Aviation Battalion, Michigan Army National Guard, said. “We want to talk with you about what it can do and how it supports the local community.”

Marine interdiction agents with the local U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations team brought a long-range interceptor boat and spoke to the students as well.

The 2024 Selfridge Open House and Air Show will connect the community with Selfridge’s organizations on a much larger scale when it kicks off on June 8. The air show event is headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team and will also feature the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, Misty Blues skydive team, Canadian Air Force CF-18 and more. The STEAM Expo will feature the NASA Glen Research Center, local robotics teams, and numerous other interactive displays from programs like those present at the March 13 event.

To learn more about the 2024 Selfridge Open House and Air Show, go to