Grange Middle School Students Explore STEM Career Opportunities in the US Air Force


The panelists delved into the myriad of STEM career paths available within the US Air Force.

Lindsey Michels, FSUSD Communications Manager/Public Information Officer

FAIRFIELD, CA – On Friday, May 19, 2023, Grange Middle School took a significant step in empowering its students to explore exciting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career opportunities by organizing a panel discussion featuring experts from the US Air Force. The event, attended by 85 enthusiastic students, aimed to shed light on the diverse and sometimes unexpected STEM occupations within the Air Force.

Hosted by Mike Vargas, a former Air Force Association Teacher of the Year and Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, the panel discussion proved to be an enlightening and engaging experience for students in attendance. The panel was made up of a group of Airmen, both civilian and military, who willingly shared their experiences and insights.

During the panel discussion, students had the unique opportunity to directly interact with the panel members.  Students asked them a wide range of questions about their career paths, their initial interest in STEM, and the nature of their day-to-day tasks. The Airmen generously told their personal stories, discussed how they embarked on their careers, and shared what inspired them to pursue STEM disciplines within the Air Force.

Students were exposed to exciting opportunities that they might not have considered. Grange Middle School extends its sincere gratitude to Mike Vargas for his exceptional facilitation and to the Airmen who took the time to participate in the panel discussion.

The STEM Careers in the US Air Force Panel at Grange Middle School left a lasting impact on the attending students. Reflecting on the event, one student remarked, “I learned that anyone can be in STEM in the Air Force because it has roles for civilians.” Another student highlighted the increasing participation of women in STEM, stating, “I learned that in recent years, more women have been joining the STEM field.” Another student mentioned their newly found knowledge of finding internships in STEM. The event fostered a vibrant and interactive environment and encouraged students to think critically about their interests and career goals related to STEM.