Congratulations orthoman52, starting out with an EC Strat is a very good first step!
What color is it?
Hope you have an Amp too.
That's the situation I found myself in 5 years ago at the age of 60. Lots of acoustic experience, none on electric.
That's a normal tremolo unit and it should just be a piece of wood keeping it blocked, as Eric does, and he specified on his signature guitars.
Be forewarned, if you remove it you may need some set-up performed for optimal playability. Regardless, having it set-up is advisable with a new guitar. High end strats like yours may have the service included in the initial cost.
To answer your question, you push the whammy bar down, which releases pressure from the block and it should slide out.
We'd like to see some pictures!
Meanwhile, play the ding-dong-doodle out of it and Merry Christmas to you!
"...Seriously...I'd apologize for my sense of humor...but You'd probably think I was kidding..."