HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The 309th SWEG invited team members, family members and friends to their interactive and educational Spooktacular SWEG-O-Ween Party on Oct. 21.
A variety of STEM-themed activities and spookily decorated hallways provided a great opportunity for software engineers to share with their families a little of what makes working at Hill Air Force Base special.
Hundreds of people, including Ogden Air Logistics Complex and 75th Air Base Wing officials, participated in the celebration that included child-friendly, STEM activities such as making slime and building geodesic domes from marshmallows.
Morgan Wallace, 309th SWEG program manager and event coordinator said the greatest reward of the experience was getting positive feedback from families.
“That’s absolutely the best part, knowing that families were excited and enjoyed themselves,” she said.
A demonstration developed by Software Organizational Development Office team members drew crowds as they met REC the recruiting robot and interacted through a virtual headset.
REC is actually a humanoid computer complete with a realistic head, mouth, and eyes which respond to audible questions asked of it.
The virtual reality project, designed by interns and new engineers, takes the headset user into a digital replica of the launch pad innovation center where they play games, meet project leads and managers, and get the inside scoop on a variety of other projects worked on by SODO team members.
Another computer-savvy area was set up with 3-D printed catapults poised to launch 3-D printed pumpkins across the room.
In another room, a mad scientist’s lab designed by George Barber, 516th Software Engineering Squadron electronics engineer, featured a Van Graaf generator which gave participants a hair-raising experience as high-voltage static discharges passed through their bodies.
Also in the lab were several posters explaining what happens when stars die and astronomical photos that resembled spooky imagery like a witch face and a skull.
A favorite lab activity was an interactive display where guests touched foods and objects themed as body parts, such as hard boiled eggs described playfully as eyes.
There were several traditional activities, too, including face painting, ring toss, bingo, temporary tattoos, corn hole, a fishing hole, and a hands-on art activity creating ghastly monsters from bizarre body parts, such as horns and fangs.
Of course, plenty of candy was handed out from the 300 pounds gathered in donations.
Aside from these activities, guests were also encouraged to enjoy three unique tours showcasing an anechoic chamber which is room designed to stop reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves, a flight simulator, and an assembled F-16 complete with wings.
The anechoic chamber demonstrated how engineers can track and test RADAR technology.
The flight simulator, termed “The Domes”, is shaped like a cockpit dome which provides a user with a 360-degree view of the simulated flight path of a ViperSim F-16, which can be designed to take the user on a virtual journey anywhere in the world.
For a more tangible experience, Halloween visitors were treated with an opportunity to see a real F-16 up close, in the room endearingly dubbed the “jet-in-the-closet”.
More than 50 volunteers assisted in creating a family Halloween experience that showcased some of the ways the 309th SWEG contributes to Air Force mission success.