POSTED: Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 1:56pm
UPDATED: Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 2:07pm
McGREGOR RANGE, N.M — As part of the Partners in Education program, 1st Battalion, 361st Engineer Regiment, Task Force Redhawk, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West, recently hosted a field trip to McGregor Range for a group of students from Parkland High School.
The field trip gave students an opportunity to see how robotics are designed and operated and how the military uses robotics in daily operations. The students, who are in the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program at Parkland, also got to operate the Talon and Fastac robot systems themselves.
“This is a great opportunity for our students,” said Ramon Rivera, Parkland High School T-STEM coordinator. “The students got a chance to get out of the classroom environment and get hands-on experience with actual robotics.”
The students are building a robot for a high school competition as part of the T-STEM program, said Anaysa Arce, Parkland High School senior.
“Getting to see how an actual robot operates and how it is designed will help us with our own design,” Arce said.
The students also learned how an M2 .50-caliber machine gun and an M1151 Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle operates.
“It is very difficult to get in and out of the HMMWV even without all the gear,” said Tina Rico, Parkland High School senior. “The M2 is a lot heavier than they make it look in the movies.”
The students, all high school juniors and seniors, spent three hours rotating between two robotics lanes and the HMMWV display. Task Force Redhawk provided a noncommissioned officer at each station to provide information and answer questions.
“This is not just an opportunity for the students, but it is also an opportunity for us to show them what they are capable of creating,” said Staff Sgt. Jesus Zambrano, a Soldier assigned toTask Force Redhawk. “These students are the future, and they will create our new Improved Outer Tactical Vests and HMMWVs.”