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SAN DIEGO (NNS) — San Diego Fleet Week hosted more than 2,500 elementary school students from the San Diego Unified School District at the “Innovation Zone” at Broadway Pier for science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) day, Oct. 25.

The day began with a tour on board the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) where students toured the ships hangar bay, well deck and flight deck.

The tour of the ship was a giant hit with the students that were in awe of the ship’s size and impressed by her personnel.

Afterward, the students were brought down to the pier to visit with Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen manning static displays on the pier and inside the Broadway Pier building.

“The Innovation is a great opportunity for us to interact with the local community,” said Lt. Kelsey Rowe, assigned to Fleet Weather Center San Diego. “It also lets students understand how important science is to the Navy and how much we actually use different sciences such as oceanography and meteorology that helps the Navy carry out its mission.

The Innovation Zone features a combination of STEM and high-tech military displays geared specifically to students such as drones, virtual reality technology, hands on interactive displays, a dive tank, heavy duty Marine equipment.

This was a great experience that will hopefully open careers for them,” said Jerry Savin, a teacher at Dewey Elementary School. “All of the kids really enjoyed this event and learned a lot.”

The Innovation Zone is open to the public throughout the week and is free of charge to the public.

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