On Tuesday, April 17, 2018 students in the Engineering - Honors classes along with any other interested STEM students took a field trip to see the ARMOR unit. ARMOR is the collaborative section of the LVMPD that provides support to the valley SWAT teams in the areas of robotics and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive incidents.
A field trip reflection by Zac McPherson '19
To start, I joined the STEM Academy because it provided opportunities for me that a regular student would not necessarily receive. For example, I have an internship this summer through STEM. I am doing a general concentration, which allows me to try a sample of each path rather than being stuck on a certain track.
Learn about the STEM Academy, a program unique to Faith Lutheran.
Never hearing of the ARMOR Unit before last Tuesday, I was intrigued in learning who they are and what their role in the police force is. Upon arrival, my friends and I poured out of the bus and into this vast plot of land that looked like an airfield. There were hangars directly next to us, flat concrete ground for hundreds of yards, and a large chain link fence with barbed wire enclosing it all. Two men appeared from out of a hangar, greeted us and took us inside the chilled room where we immediately could see three large robots that looked like the rovers sent to the moon and Mars.
We were split into four groups and visited different stations. The first station we visited was lead by the man who greeted us at the bus. He opened up a computer that controlled one of the robots and proceeded to show us different functionalities of these robots.
He and the mentor at the second station described how these robots are used in barricade situations, to investigate suspicious packages, and to assist SWAT. The third station had a very interesting demonstration in which the mentor built a charge that could tear down a door, while the fourth station had a multitude of gadgets that could predict what a mysterious substance was.
Overall, it was a great insight into the complexity of what goes on during a barricade situation or a bomb investigation. Even though this trip did not really give me any insight for my future career, it was interesting to see how the same technology in an engineering class has an extremely practical application in the police force. My friends and I had a great time visiting and loved learning about the integration of such modern technology in an extremely practical field. If anyone is thinking about joining the STEM Academy, they should. It is challenging to meet the requirements and the scheduling is intense, but it pays off in the end to get the endorsement and experience a career path in an internship.