U.S. Navy’s SSP Outreach Groups Domesticate Expertise throughout FIRST Robotics Occasions Nationwide > United States Navy > News Tales

January was full of growth alternatives for youngsters in lecture rooms spanning the nation—from the Nation’s Capital all the way in which to Colorado—and SSP’s STEM outreach groups partnered with academics throughout a number of “FIRST Robotics” construct season kickoff occasions. 

Anacostia Excessive College (AHS) in Washington, D.C. centered on reinvigorating its robotics crew—going by its new membership identify, the “AnaDroids”—throughout its For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Know-how (FIRST) occasion. Anacostia’s robotics membership has laid dormant for a number of years as a result of lack of funding for growth applications like STEM in space colleges. Re-inventing and rebuilding the membership is due, largely, to SSP’s sponsorship and is led by the Lead Mentor and STEM Coordinator for AHS Ms. Jacquelyn Timothy, who isn’t any stranger to FIRST Robotics golf equipment. 

“Seeing the power and competitors expertise Ms. Timothy brings to the crew is thrilling,” mentioned Marvin Turner, STEM coordinator at SSP’s headquarters on the Washington Navy Yard. 

Partnership with STEM professionals like Turner—who volunteer along with their regular duties—from Navy instructions and organizations throughout the nation is vital to organically growing and recruiting high expertise into naval STEM fields. Combining efforts with native educators and organizations like FIRST broadens the attain for expertise and lends a hand to academics who could not have the bandwidth to include STEM-specific classes into their day by day classroom training. 

“In partnership with educators like Ms. Timothy, SSP will have the ability to successfully present Naval STEM training and outreach alternatives inside the District and surrounding communities,” Turner added. 

This yr, AnaDroids membership members will deal with STEM and enterprise actions similar to software program design to program the robotic to carry out required duties; mechanical and electrical to construct the robotic to FIRST and club-required specs; and web site and utility design to advertise the crew and to gather knowledge from different groups to kind aggressive alliances—amongst different actions.

Deliberate investments in STEM training and outreach initiatives are among the many Division of the Navy’s (DoN) most important capabilities and are important to America’s continued technological and warfighting dominance. For a few of its faculty sponsorships, SSP companions with the Workplace of Naval Analysis (ONR) via its DoN STEM Schooling and Workforce Program Funding Alternative Announcement (FOA) course of to assist colleges in native communities profit from STEM subsidies. The FOA receives a broad vary of proposals for augmenting present and/or growing revolutionary options that straight keep and/or domesticate a various, world-class STEM workforce. Further federal funding alternatives are additionally out there to educators and establishments at www.grants.gov.  

ONR seeks to ship Naval STEM training and outreach alternatives that encourage curiosity and form a technology of expertise ready for future world challenges. Navy statistics present excessive percentages of highschool and school college students fascinated about STEM levels—amongst these are Era Z. Current knowledge exhibits that 67 p.c of this cohort needs jobs that can allow them to be taught expertise that can advance their profession, and SSP is amongst one of many many organizations working to satiate that thirst for STEM data at colleges throughout the nation. 

In Kingsland, Georgia Camden County Excessive College (CCHS) and Camden Center College (CMS) in Kingsland, Georgia received an opportunity to start their robotics construct season, take part in a contest, and increase STEM studying into the area people in partnership with the Camden County Library STEM outreach. Ten college students from Camden Center College’s STEM program additionally competed within the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Regional Event at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia. The crew’s December efficiency earned them the Robotic Design Award and secured them a spot within the FLL Starbase Robins Tremendous-Regional competitors. 

The crew referred to as “Space 53” lived as much as their extra-terrestrial title by constructing and programming robots to perform a number of pre-determined missions. Individuals additionally created an innovation mission which aligned to the competitors theme “MASTERPIECE.” The rigorous analysis course of required college students to current each their innovation mission and robotic design to a panel of judges with out the help of academics or STEM professionals within the room. 

“The robotic runs had been scored for not solely what number of profitable missions it was in a position to full, but additionally how exactly it executed the duty,” mentioned Andrew Willmann, a metrology engineering technician at SSP’s Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic (SWFLANT). 

The crew’s improvements paid off they usually superior past the FLL Starbase Robins competitors to the States-level competitors. Willmann, who additionally additionally volunteers as a STEM coordinator for SWFLANT, mentioned the work may be very rewarding for the scholars, the educators, and the sponsors. 

“The distinctive perspective we provide—derived from our expertise at SSP—imparts mission administration expertise, course of variation mitigation, danger discount, vital considering/questioning attitudes, and inventive mission options to the scholars,” Willmann defined. 

“These expertise—coupled with their technical proficiencies—make them very important contributors of future improvements in fields like naval STEM.” 

SWFLANT’s STEM Outreach crew additionally joined the CCHS FIRST Robotics crew in partnership with the newly launched Camden County Library STEM Outreach program to convey STEM alternatives to the neighborhood in mid-January.  Through the occasion, youngsters ages 2-16 had been engaged in innovation, design, and troubleshooting. 

“In true neighborhood spirit, when CMS came upon in regards to the efforts, they donated one in all their STEM carts bought by SSP and donated it to the library,” defined Caren Spahr, the continual course of enchancment coordinator for SWFLANT. 

“We’re actually enthusiastic about this new partnership and happy with our STEM neighborhood connections the place every program reaches out a hand to assist make one another stronger,” she mentioned.

Strengthening investments in college students at William J. Palmer highschool in Colorado Springs, Colorado is a excessive precedence for the STEM engagement crew from SSP’s Mission Administration Workplace for Flight Techniques (SPF). Just lately, college students at Palmer accomplished a mission throughout their construct season kickoff centered on honing Digital Actuality (VR) know-how. College students created a VR expertise utilizing two headsets donated to the college by two main firms within the know-how sector. Increasing on their technical skillsets, contributors additionally created a holographic expertise utilizing the HoloLens 2 headsets, donated by SSP to Palmer’s STEM program. 

“Within the close to future, one thing I’m going to show children about is easy methods to use real-time satellite tv for pc knowledge to make holographic shows of satellite tv for pc orbits,” mentioned Sean Wybrant, an educator and STEM facilitator at the highschool. 

Wybrant defined that this partnership permits college students to visualise knowledge in new methods, offers alternatives to collaborate with different space colleges, and permits college students to create a way forward for linked studying via STEM, arts, and person expertise design. 

“SSP’s investments within the STEM program at Palmer have modified college students’ lives on that campus,” Wybrant mentioned. 

“Partaking college students in high-tech alternatives to sort out real-world challenges empowers college students to see themselves and the world otherwise.” 

At Mt. Greylock Excessive College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, college students profit from DoD STEM and SSP grants to assist them meet the challenges for his or her 2024 STEM actions. Data Know-how Crew Lead John Moyer Jr.—working at SSP’s PMO for Shipboard Techniques (SPS)—will serve his eighth season as a SSP STEM Outreach mentor at Mt. Greylock. 

This yr, Moyer and different mentors from SPS will oversee college students’ growth of a robotic that can have particular necessities together with potential to select a foam ring off the ground; shoot the froth rings right into a purpose a couple of ft off the bottom; or ship them into one thing resembling a mail slot.  Throughout competitors season, every match ends with bigger challenges similar to lifting the robotic off the bottom by greedy a horizontal chain.  

“The robotic is designed and constructed annually from scratch that means that every robotic is a bit totally different,” Moyer defined. 

Groups have about six weeks to finish the problem, at which level they then transfer on to compete their crew’s robotic in opposition to different colleges at regional championships. 

“SSP’s STEM outreach program has an immense attain and affect within the classroom,” mentioned Moyer who famous {that a} scholar from this system additionally labored as a summer time intern for SPS.  

“This might be one other season the place college students not solely be taught one thing new however construct on teamwork and management expertise whereas studying difficult engineering and pc programming expertise—and SSP will get to play a major position of their development!”

The Navy is probably the most extremely expert, technologically superior army drive on this planet, and affords greater than 60 profession fields in modern STEM fields. To be taught extra about SSP’s open alternatives inside these fields, go to job openings at www.ssp.navy.mil. For Navy careers, go to www.Navy.com/Careers for extra info.

Caren Spahr, Andrew Willmann, Marvin Turner, David Aragon, and John Moyer contributed to this text.