HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport Navy Week is in full swing, and Naval officers were on hand at Harrison Central High School today to teach students about the Navy in a fun and interactive way.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jack Reynolds said his mission of bringing awareness about the Navy to Harrison Central students is nearly complete.
"It's really important they understand what the Navy is. We're always looking for bright young men and women to join the fleet," said Reynolds.
Freshman Deniya Boykin said after today's experience, joining the Navy is one of her top choices for the future, especially after the simulated task.
"They could have been anywhere, but they chose to come to H.C. out of all the schools. It's a great opportunity to learn," Deniya said.
Inside the virtual reality experience, students were challenged with extracting a Navy SEAL team.
"It was crazy. I did not expect it to be that hard at all. It blew my mind. I learned from it, so now, I can take what I learned and move forward," Deniya noted.
"In the simulator, students can take a boat and operate it through virtual reality. They then extract the SEALS, go through a debrief, and get a grade on their performance throughout the situation," said Reynolds.
Student Kaytlin Smarr said she's thankful for the opportunity to speak with Navy officers.
"I am wanting to go into the Air Force, but keeping opportunities open. I've already talked to an Army and Air Force recruiter already, too," said Kaytlin.
The next stop for the virtual reality Navy experience is at Seabee Day on Saturday at the Gulfport Navy base. It'll be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Harrison Central High students were able to take part in the Navy activity during their STEM class, which includes science, technology, engineering, and math lessons.