By MC3 Angus Beckles
USS New York Public Affairs
A group of 13 Sailors from the amphibious transport dock USS New York (LPD 21) judged a number of projects and inventions at Jacksonville Beach Elementary School's Invention Convention recently.
The judging is New York's first event as part of its Adopt-A-School Program as part of its Community Relations (COMREL) program.
"The program is a good opportunity for New York Sailors to be making their mark in the Mayport/Jacksonville area," said Lt. Justin Bernard, the ship's chaplain. " Jacksonville Beach Elementary was the school that wanted New York as their ship and this was a great opportunity for us to reach out to the community and enjoy some of the creativity our young citizens are producing."
A total of 24 inventions were on display for the Sailors to judge. The young inventors ranged from kindergarten to third grade.
"This was fun!" said Hospital Corpsman Danielle Tannous. " It's just cool to see how young minds process things to come up with new ideas to make lives easier or just being creative and having fun with their projects."
Praga Shah and Rana Shaban, members of the school's Parent Teachers Association, spearheaded the organization of the convention. Students are asked to volunteer and to invent something that they feel there is need or improve on something that has been already invented. They are given guidelines and a packet to fill out.
"It's a great learning experience because the lower grades don't really have a science fair so this a learning experience and a step into the science world where they learn some of the terminology," said Shah. "It's really exciting and a lot of work that goes into it from both kids and parents and they are very excited to present and see their projects on display."
"This is the third consecutive year we have had Navy personnel judging and we enjoy having them here," said Shaban. " They enjoy watching the new inventions that the kids present and we wanted to maintain the consistency."
New York recently shifted homeport to Naval Station Mayport, Fla., as part of a larger move of an amphibious ready group homeport change in support of strategic maritime dispersal.