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C-4 explosion at an EOD demonstration day.

“PIE.” Professional Interest Exploration. That’s what Northside High School seniors Wesley Paskett, Jaikel “Jay” Robinson, and Keynan Callum are doing at the museum this semester. PIE is part of their Humanities course, and these three students asked to come to the museum to get a behind-the-scenes look at what museum professionals do. Truth be known, watching museum people work can be pretty boring. Much better to actually do some of what we do, right? Like an exhibit?

That’s where the explosive part comes in. We asked the students to do their exhibit on Explosive Ordnance Disposal, or “EOD.” EOD specialists have played a crucial role in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Below is an Air Force video that gives an overview.[youtube=]

Disposing of an explosive—blowing it up in a controlled fashion—is highly technical work and EOD specialists are superbly trained to do it safely. However, it is dangerous and EOD specialists risk their lives to protect lives and property. They are remarkable people and we feel a need to help tell the EOD story.

Jay and Wesley actually started researching EOD last fall, and Keynan joined the team a few weeks ago. They are working under the direction of Assistant Curator Arthur Sullivan, with assistance from Museum Collections Manager Bill Paul. Arthur and Bill also worked closely with PIE student curators Justin Yun and Chris Matthews last year on their exhibit about the F-15 Eagle in Desert Storm (see “Eagles at the Museum” and “Eagles in the Storm Exhibit”).

Left to right: Arthur, Jay, and Wesley examine a block of C-4 during an EOD demonstration last fall.

We’re also very fortunate to have terrific support from the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing EOD Flight. SMSgt John Bell has taken time from his busy schedule to meet with the students and give them an inside look at what EOD specialists do and the equipment they use.

Jay has just detonated an explosion during the demonstration last fall.

I’m excited about the EOD exhibit and during the next few months we’ll provide frequent updates on how Keynan, Wesley, and Jay are progressing.

– Mike Rowland, Curator

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