By Lou Baldwin
Special to The CS&T

ANNAPOLIS – Trevor Moore, who just completed seventh grade at Our Lady Help of Christians School, Abington, skipped his last week of class to join the Navy.

Well, temporarily, at least.

He was invited to Annapolis, Md., June 8-13 to attend the U.S. Naval Academy’s all-expenses-paid Summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program, experiencing real-life applications of math and science principles through hands-on practical (and fun) learning.

“We are very excited and proud of him. He’s a good student, a leader in his classroom,” said OLHC principal Jack Bellantoni.

His parents James and Kristine Moore were proud of him too.

“We were contacted by the Naval Academy. [The selection] was based on his grades and his standing in the community. He was part of his school’s Future Cities program on the support team, and he’s in an accelerated math program,” his mother said. “It was a good experience for him. This was everything he’s interested in. He’s academically inclined and sports inclined, especially baseball.”

She might have added he’s also got more than a little salt water in his veins – two uncles and a cousin are Annapolis grads.

The STEM Program is offered in two sessions at the beginning of June. Classes are, for the most part, conducted by midshipmen at the academy who are entering their final year. The invited students, all in grades seven through nine, are exposed to a number of situations where the STEM subjects come into play. Why did the Titanic sink? How does math affect how messages are encrypted? How does technology help catch criminals? How do you make a robot?

“I liked the robotic section especially,” Trevor said. “I also liked it when we went out on a lake and used sonar to locate fish.”

Other things they did were make small lie detectors, test steel to determine its strength and make ice cream utilizing liquid nitrogen.

One day was spent exploring the wonders of the Air and Space Museum in Washington. Equally important for Trevor was meeting other young people from around the country who love math and science as much as he does.

From the Naval Academy’s perspective the real reason for the STEM program is highlighting its excellent science and technology programs and interesting students in a future career as a naval officer.

As for Trevor, who is probably headed to La Salle College High School after OLHC, the summer program may help him with eighth grade work and on high school applications. Will he select the Naval Academy? It’s a possibility, but he is keeping his options open.

“I enjoyed it. It’s a nice campus,” he said “I don’t know if I’ll go there yet.”

Lou Baldwin is a member of St. Leo Parish and a freelance writer.