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By Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson
157th Air Refueling Wing
The 157th Air Refueling Wing was recognized for hosting an exceptional air show during the recent International Convention of Air Shows, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec 9.
The Thunder Over New Hampshire Air Show earned gold in the Military Air Shows/Open House Pinnacle Awards category.
The annual Pinnacle Awards recognized professionalism, innovation in problem solving, and overall excellence in air show operations and management.
“The program was developed to showcase and explain creative ideas and innovations in all areas of the air show business,” said Adam Glowaski, ICAS Director of Marketing and Communications. “We use the program not just to give credit where credit is due, but also to help make new and helpful ideas accessible to other ICAS members who might benefit from hearing about them.”
The Thunder Over New Hampshire Open House drew attention for its extensive science, technology, engineering and mathematics exhibits, which included nearly a dozen exhibits, including a basketball court-sized robot tournament.
Capt. Richard Lambert, the air show STEM coordinator, said this exhibit exposed young students to a diversity of science and technology-based careers in an accessible manner.
“Running the STEM exhibit was so impactful,” he said. “It’s so important that our youth see what opportunities are out there and they got to see what they are capable of.”
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard contributed a massive water tank for interactive simulations and live demonstrations, while other exhibitors like the STEM Van, NASA Solar System Ambassadors program and BOSLab provided exciting hands-on learning experiences for youth and adults alike.
Karen Connors, the director of ICAS Membership Services, said the STEM contributions stood out from all other open houses entries.
“Excellence in our business reveals itself in many ways,” she said. “It has never been more important to shine a spotlight on progressive ideas and originality, congratulations.”
The 157th Air Refueling Wing is scheduled to hold future open houses with a large focus on STEM education and its range of application in the work force.
“I love that Pease is inviting the community in and building a longer lasting relationship with these organizations,” Lambert said. “The smiles on the kids’ faces when all of their hard work showed was the cherry on top of the entire air show weekend for me.”
“I look forward to what we can build together,” he added.