Tinker’s STEM Explorer Post 256 relaunched after 5 years

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Kaseyann Cornwall

The STEM Explorer Post Network relaunched Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Post 256, aiming to educate and mentor youth aged 14-20 in STEM, with an open house on Sep. 19 at Rose State Community Learning Center in Midwest City, OK.

The STEM Explorer Post 256, originally founded in 2018, hosted an open house at the Rose State Community Learning Center. The event featured guest speakers Col. Eric Quidley, commander of the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group, and Mr. Wayne Ayer, director of engineering and technical management with the Air Force Sustainment Center. The STEM Explorer Post Network has ambitious plans to expand to Hill, Robins, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Bases in the coming years. Their goal is to provide long-term mentoring for scouts aged 14-20, emphasizing it’s Pillars of Valors: technical competencies, servant leadership, value in service, and building relationships.

The STEM Explorer Post Network focuses on nurturing STEM skills and leadership qualities in young individuals aged 14-20. They meet weekly on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. at Tinker AFB for hands-on STEM projects, emphasizing technical competencies, servant leadership, and community outreach. The program is a part of Exploring.org, which provides umbrella insurance, youth protection training, and other services. Leadership opportunities within the post will be managed by the scouts themselves, and Air and Space STEM Outreach is contributing funding for equipment and membership fees. Scouts will also be informed about scholarship and internship opportunities provided by the Department of Defense, the Air Force, and other services as they transition to post-secondary education. Expansion to other bases will foster nationwide collaborations and relationships among scouts and mentors. The STEM Explorer Post Network aligns with the Department of Defense STEM Strategic Plan for fiscal year 2021-2025 and implements each of its four Goals. Air and Space STEM Outreach has developed an evaluation plan to help track the post’s progress towards implementing the short, mid, and long-term outcomes related to the strategic plan.

"We are excited to support the relaunch of STEM Explorer Post 256 and inspire young minds towards careers in STEM," said, Col. Eric Quidley, commander of the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group.

"I still maintain close relationships with my friends from the Tinker Computer Explorer Post 128," said Derek Miller, a planning and programs engineer with the Headquarters of Air Force Materiel Command.

To learn more about Tinker’s STEM Explorer Post 256 and their upcoming events, please contact them via email at tinkerpost256@gmail.com.