NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Some pretty sharp math and science students in Norfolk got a lesson on earthquakes and tsunamis from some pretty sharp Naval officers on Friday.
The officers, from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visited 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders from the the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program at Campostella Elementary School. The topic was the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
"We think the kids might just have questions about what has been in the news," said CAPT Douglas Verissimo, Executive Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
And did they ever. "Can you detect an earthquake or a tsunami?," asked one student.
The answer that you could, in fact, detect and earthquake or tsunami came all the way from Japan, from Capt. Brad Lee, the Commodore in charge of the US Navy amphibious ships delivering aid to the Japanese.
"We consider ourselves a global force for good," said CMDR Roger Curry, Navigator, USS Theodore Roosevelt, "and we are over there doing everything we can to help them out."
Capt. Verissimo wanted the students to know why studying science and technology was so important to the Navy and to the students.
"You can't fly airplanes, you can't steam ships, you can't run a camera without having some science and technology and some understanding on how all that works," he told them.
What knowledge did the students take away?
"The tsunami did more of the damage than the earthquake," said 5th Grader Koby Hyman.
Angellee Hays, also in the 5th Grade, said the "United States can plan too, because you never know if an earthquake might happen here."
Valuable lessons learned from those who are among the first called upon to help when others in the world are in need.
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is in the midst of a three-year overhaul at the shipyard in Newport News and is not part of the rescue effort in Japan.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.