Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex introduce River Region students to installation, STEM opportunities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Greydon Furstenau
  • Air University Public Affairs

The 42nd Air Base Wing is collaborating with local schools in the River Region to inspire and expose students to future opportunities on the installation and in the military.

"By sharing these opportunities with our local youth, we expose them to career options they may not have known existed," said Col. Ryan Richardson, 42nd ABW Commander. "Our military installations offer a wide variety of careers, from food service, hospitality, childcare, and logistics to engineering, finance, medical, aviation, and security, among others. While many, if not most, of Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex personnel have a career requiring them to wear a military uniform in service to their country, but there is an entire portfolio of professions on the installation that do not require service in the military."

So far this year, the wing has organized ten school activities or events, including base tours, motivational talks, essay competitions, career-shadowing opportunities, and high school graduation recognition.

Of note, Starbase Maxwell has made a significant contribution to the STEM education offered to elementary schools. During the academic year, local fifth graders receive 25 hours of instruction for a combined effort benefiting 2,177 students from three different districts. Starbase Maxwell also held an after-school program where students from Carr Middle School employed code to create drone coordinates.

Other highlighted events include Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT) from Montgomery Public Schools receiving a tour of the airfield tower and fire department. The 42nd Security Forces Squadron conducted an event with military working dogs for students and military-connected children.

"We often say, you never know who you have influenced today," said Ms. Katheryn Ganster, Maxwell’s School Liaison Program manager. "Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex hopes to give local youth exposure to career paths that may have been unknown to them and be able to influence them to strive to be their best."