GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "On a scale from 1 to 10, it was like 2,000."
That is how one student described the STEM field trip to the Seabee Base in Gulfport.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.
More than 60 students from several Coast high schools were invited to the base for hands-on experience. All the students were either enrolled in STEM classes at their schools or have some type of interest in STEM-related careers.
Hunter Hughes, a 9th grader at Harrison Central High School, has a big interest in STEM.
"STEM is my favorite class, we learn about all kinds of things in there. I like cars. I like engines. I like rebuilding. Me and my dad work on cars all the time," said Hughes.
In one of the sessions, the students got to get their hands greasy by troubleshooting problems in a diesel-hydraulic engine and then assembling part of one themselves.
By letting them explore the basic skills these kids will be well suited for what's in store down the road.
"So ideally, we can influence some of these kids to further their knowledge and pursue jobs and trades that are going to help out the workforce of our future," said Senior Chief Joshua Renner, a Construction Mechanic on the base.
Some may think computers and coding are the main components when referring to STEM, but there's a variety of paths that are always updating.
"STEM being what it is, there's going to be a constant demand for it," added Renner.
She believes the world is always going to need people who understand the engineering side of STEM.
"Over the years, locomotives are starting to come back up and their diesel operated," said Renner.
Construction is another overlooked aspect of the STEM field. It's an area that's expected to grow over the next decade and one that doesn't always require a bachelor's degree.
Another stop on the itinerary was at the Emergency Operations Center where the students learned about what happens in situations dealing with active shooters and natural disasters.