10 August 2017
ASNT had an unprecedented opportunity to introduce hundreds of science educators to nondestructive testing (NDT) at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) 2017 STEM Forum held in Kissimmee, Florida, 12–14 July. Nondestructive testing is undeniably part of the STEM movement; each NDT method uses components of STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—every day, in every test.
ASNT exhibited its bright, inviting booth featuring common and iconic industry images that resonate with event goers. With an amusement park ride, Big Ben, a bridge, and an underwater pipeline among the visuals, the booth enabled STEM forum attendees to easily see the universality of NDT and its impact on making the world a safer place.
Participating in this year’s STEM Forum is part of ASNT’s commitment to broadening awareness of NDT. Exhibit booths allow participants to have multiple impressions of ASNT and acquire new knowledge of NDT to share with their students. The knowledge sharing goes both ways; as ASNT becomes more aware of the needs and interests of motivated educators, new ways to meet the challenge of finding and engaging the next generation of NDT technicians can be found.
Many visitors to the ASNT booth offered their personal stories about bringing innovation to their students and wanting to find new ways to keep them excited about STEM. One of the visiting educators was Tina Closser and her family. Closser, the STEM director at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), was recognized as Tech Educator of the Year by TechPoint, Indiana’s technology growth initiative. As an award-winning champion for education and STEM, Crosser shared her passion and optimism about the possibilities that await today’s youth; it was very rewarding and validating to ASNT’s involvement at the STEM Forum.
An added bonus to the encounter was meeting Closser’s husband, Richard Closser, and discovering that, while in the Marines, he was an NDT practitioner inspecting rotor heads on aircraft. Using a magnetic yoke, a steel part, and magnetic particles on display in the ASNT booth, he seamlessly explained to his family the science behind the magnetic particle testing (MT) method. He has since transitioned from the military to a destructive testing job as a veteran and civilian; however, his NDT roots proudly emerged and were as deep as ever.
The Clossers, NSTA, and all the STEM Forum attendees and participants left the clear impression that NDT is a valuable part of the STEM community and the opportunities to share are endless.
For more information about ASNT’s outreach initiative or to volunteer, please contact Jessica Ames at firstname.lastname@example.org.