Friday, September 23, 2011


Working at a school does have it's privileges.
For one thing, sometimes you get to check out some cool places, places not accessible to the regular public folks.
Today, we were off to visit the local Coast Guard Station as part of their STEM program:

The base is located off of Honolulu Harbor, well actually part of the harbor on a semi man made thingy called Sand Island.
It's called Sand Island cause it's mainly made of you guessed it: sand. Sand that was dredged up from some olden days construction or something and deposited here, er, there.
Where we went.
So anyways, the nice Coast Guard folks had some displays set up for the kids, sort of showing off what they were all about.
Most of the kids were in ROTC programs but our kids were a mix of ROTC and kids interested in engineering.
Different aspects of what they do were explained.
This was sort of cool:

That's a harbor navigation light, you know, the green and red blinky things marking the harbor entrance.
That thing there holds six bulbs, it's spring loaded to change the bulb as the old one burns out. They told me it would last about six years.
I need one for my house.
Now though, they are changing all of them oldfangled ones for LEDs.
The men that serviced these things also take care of lighthouses and other navigational markers.
Environmental disaster folks:

They explained how they manage fuel spills and stuff.
One of their cutters was in the Gulf of Mexico to help with the oil rig catastrophe.
I thought this was sort of amusing:

Then we talked to some Search and Rescue folks.
We did sort of a mock emergency where we had to try and find an overdue fisherman:

The X's are the student's guesses as to where the drifting boat was.
If you squint yer eyeballs, you can see my guess.
It's the small red square way on the left side of the screen.
The blue grid looking thing represents the search pattern the helicopters and planes would take based upon wind and currents and computer generated probability.
Nice to know these folks are there to do what they do.
I gotta say, that base is a pretty nice place.
They got most of the stuff a regular military base has except for like a bowling alley.
Then came the really cool stuff:

Part II coming up.

No comments: