Tech and Robotics Club Field Trip
By Dustyn C. and Eric G., staff writers
On Tuesday, February 24, both the Tech Club and Robotics Club took the unique opportunity to visit the Northrop Grumman Aerospace System to celebrate Engineering Week. There were a lot of things to interact with and many places to visit. From the museum of history of Northrop Grumman to the FA18 assembly line, there were a lot of sights to see.
Once we arrived at Northrop Grumman, our first destination was at a theater. In the theater, we watched commercials that were shown during the Super Bow. These high quality commercials showed off the original B2 Bomber and the Long-Range Strike-Bomber, which is the next-generation bomber.
After watching the commercials, we entered the “NGenuity in Motion” museum where there are a lot of things to interact with and watch. Model planes were installed at the sides for others to observe in its quality glory. Visitors were given the option to watch different videos about the history of Northrop Grumman. Games were available to play that centered around fighter jets or planning airstrikes. There were plenty of things to do for everyone to enjoy.
Once the fun of “NGenuity in Motion” was done, all the lucky students traveled to the clean room, where the James Webb Telescope was being assembled. The James Webb Telescope is the newer model of the Hubble Space Telescope and planned to be launched on October 2018. This telescope is supposed to see back in time! (How can that be? Thinking about it, if you are staring at the sun, you are staring at what it looked like 8 minutes ago.) They say if the telescope goes far enough, they could see the big bang!
After our experience in the clean room, we went back to the school bus on our way to the Fab Lab. That is where they come up with and follow through with ideas. They are currently working on a 20 feet tall Tetris game using robots! The Fab Lab also had 3-D printers that are used for different projects creating 3-D models of objects.
Lunchtime began once our session with the Fab Lab concluded. While students talked and ate, an egg drop competition was happening. Several teams would use different materials to drop eggs onto a target without cracking the egg. Just like a game of darts, where the dart lands is a key point to winning alongside keeping the egg safe. Teams would be rated based on maintenance of the egg, the points a team received, the materials used to keep the egg safe, and the team name.
Once the competition has begun, the audience was up on their toes! Everyone would cheer, sigh, and chant in response to the egg drop. The people were truly a part of the game. In fact, the team names were rated based on how loud the audience cheered. Everyone was clearly having a blast during the competition!
The conclusion of the egg drop competition was only another transition to another epic part of the field trip. Once the eggs have been dropped, the lucky students went to visit the Composite Lab. In the Composite Lab, the materials for the different parts for the fighter planes are made. Each part is made with the utmost quality and care, which is why the products Northrop Grumman makes are top of the line!
After our visit in the Composite Lab, we arrived in our last destination in the FA-18 assembly line. In the assembly line, the parts that were made in the Composite Lab are built into the Super Hornet and Growler fighter planes. The attendees of the field trip got to see all the hard working men and women building quality planes for the future of technology! Several plane parts and stages of construction were also explained in detail by the helpful tour guide. We never looked at planes the same after our trip to the assembly line.
On our way back to Magruder, everyone chatted away about the destinations we visited. From NGenuity in Motion and the telescope in the clean room to the Egg Drop Competition and the assembly line, the field trip was still as awesome in the end as in the beginning!