Middle school students who completed a Grand Robotics Mission Challenge at the Virginia Demonstration Project (VDP) Summer Academy are now looking forward to a future filled with more “STEM” challenges on a grand scale.
In all, 93 students applied their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to solve problems of Navy interest at the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) sponsored event from June 23-27.
Bachman – a Navy human performance in simulation lead engineer – joined her Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) colleagues to work with 16 teachers from five Virginia middle school systems to challenge students throughout the week with scenarios mimicking real engineering problems.
In the Grand Robotics Challenge, the student teams worked to demonstrate one non-stop mission of seven robotic Navy focused challenges. This activity emphasizes modular programming and component reuse skills.
Navy officials anticipate the students may one day use their STEM skills at Navy warfare center laboratories to design future technologies supporting U.S. warfighters and America’s homeland defense and security personnel engaged in real-world missions.
The NDEP VDP goal is to increase the attraction of the Navy’s warfare centers and shipyards as an eventual place of employment for students participating in the program.
Press Release, July 10, 2014; Image: US Navy