U.S. Army and Whitmer High School partner for expo

Whitmer High School students learned how to handle military guns

The U.S. Army Cleveland Recruiting Battalion partnered with Project Lead the Way at Whitmer High School, presenting a STEM themed event Thursday.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Lt. Col. David Barlet, Battalion Commander for the Cleveland Recruiting Battalion, commented on what the event was all about saying, "the purpose of the event is to encourage students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathâ?¦"

This STEM event exposed students and faculty members to various local industries though a series of informative, demonstrative and interactive displays.

Sgt. First Class, Jeff Iffland, of the Toledo Recruiting Company, mentioned what he hopes the students will recognize being exposed to the Armyâ??s technology.

Sgt. Iffland said, "(This event) shows the kids that the Army is not all what they see on their video games or what they might see in the news, that there is more to the armed forces and the Army in generalâ?¦we are technologically advanced."

Outside of Whitmer High School, Local Army Reserves from Monclova brought vehicles, the students could climb in and out of for a hands-on learning experience.

The Armyâ??s STEM recruiting vehicle was also outside, where students were able to walk through the interactive displays inside.

Many activities were happening inside the school as well. There was a physical fitness challenge where students could compete against the recruiters.

Students were also saw robots, digitally experienced how to weld, tested their DNA, put on armor and even learned how to operate military guns.

Sgt. Jeff Iffland explained how studentsâ?? futures can benefit from this benefit.

Iffland said, "Hopefully, it is more of an educational aspect for them, that they know that there is more out there in the Army, it is not what they thought it was, so when they are looking at their futures after high school, they can realize that the military is more technology than they thought."

Debbie Heban, Director of Whitmer Career Technology Center said, "Our kids love it. The kids just really learn a lot. It is hands on stuff that they are seeing. It excites them. It makes them want to stay in school. That is our goal."

Lt. Col. Barlet responded, "that is ours as well."

Other displays included exhibitis from the University of Toledoâ??s engineering department, March 2 Success, Owens Community College solar and wind technology, BioOhio, LexaMed and many others.