Full Throttle STEM returns, expanding to Air Force Museum > Air Gear Command > View Article

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE, Ohio (AFRL) – The Full Throttle STEM events on May 10, 2022, at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and May 12, 2022, at the US Air Force National Museum, have proven successful this year after two years without it. due to the epidemic. The air force research labGame Research Integration for Learning Lab, or grillThe events were hosted by 12 schools between both locations.

Dr. Wink Bennett, GRILL Team Leader and Readiness Product Line with the 711th Human Performance Wing, part of the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, said he and other members of the AFRL were emotional watching the buses drive for Science, a technology, engineering and math event at Eldora Speedway. .

“After two years of not being able to do that, it was really nice to be back here,” he said. “The kids were more excited and excited than ever. I think the teachers were really happy to be back here to do it again…even though it’s been two years…I don’t think we’ve lost an iota of inspiration or an iota of excitement in the things that go on It’s about science, technology, engineering, and math. You can see that in the projects and the faces of kids today.”

Students in the surrounding areas were able to learn throughout the school year and apply their skills in physics, graphic design and marketing to create the various projects highlighted at the event. Projects included virtual reality, or virtual reality, simulators, drones, self-driving vehicles, and remote-controlled cars.

“We had kids from middle school and high school from rural Ohio [at the speedway]so we like to think this is an inspiring opportunity for them to not only develop their own STEM skills…but also to compete against some of their peers,” Bennett said.

One teacher at St. Henry High School agreed and expressed the importance of students’ interaction among their peers, as well as with the site’s professionals.

“It’s an amazing event,” said Angie Wendell, an engineering and technology teacher at St. Henry High School.

Wendel said that being able to showcase their projects and see other students’ reactions instills a necessary level of pride in their work. She also pointed out the importance of students sharing the difficulties they faced while creating their projects.

“I think it is important to develop that sense of success and persevere to find out [it] It’s common to run into these things, but you keep going and end up with [project]Wendell said.

Since Wendel has been a part of the event since its inception, she said she has seen former students who participated in the STEM event continue their careers.

“Some of the other students didn’t have a clear direction on what they were going to do or what they wanted to do,” she added. “But giving them opportunities like this and interacting with other professionals – it gives them … a chance to really get to know each other.”

One of the tips she always gives her students, Wendell said, “is to be curious, persistent and enthusiastic.”

Wendel said linking AFRL with local schools to create a STEM offering is a great opportunity.

“It’s a different perspective because the Air Force is able to integrate… engineering [and] Technology by GRILL.” “People don’t think about using game engines to develop professional simulations that are used by the Air Force.”

“It’s really cool exposing kids to it,” she added.

While the main event can be said to be remote RC vehicle racing, some schools have focused on computer-related projects.

Such was the case for Matt Grote, a technology education teacher at Arcanum Butler High School.

“This event has always been great for us to come and kind of show off the STEM-related projects we’ve been working on all year,” Grote said. “We’ve been working a lot this year with modeling and simulation.”

Grote said the kids used different computer programs to create 3D models and put them in a VR game.

This year, Grote students created a Roll-a-ball and VR hotdog shop.

Conor Morris, 17, a student at Arcanum Butler High School, was part of the group to create a VR game. Through trial and error and various programs, he said that the VR pizza kiosk has become a hot dog platform.

At first, Morris did not think that the project would take much time, but soon realized that it was a construction process.

Morris said there were times when he didn’t understand why something wasn’t working.

“But then I found out that the problem was very simple … and it felt good that the problem was easily resolved,” Morris added.

He also said that it was a pleasure to see the steps and all the work that was done on the project, especially when he saw other students playing a virtual reality game on the highway.

“Seeing people find different ways to do what we actually intended the game to do is wonderful,” Morris said.

“Sometimes [the students are] doing a project in class, [they] I don’t really see the importance of that outside [the classroom]Grote said. “So having events like this where you’re not really being judged on what you do, but you have a chance to show what you’ve done – and then really see what other schools have done – it really shows them that it’s worth it.”

With the AFRL staff on site, they were able to interact with the students and show them similar projects created by the Air Force.

“Having the Air Force Research Lab here really shows the kids that there is a career path they can take,” Grote said.

Grote said that working in STEM can be challenging at times and it is important to keep trying.

“You’ll have to try and try again, keep going and keep going and persevere,” Grote added. “And they finally see results when they come here and show that every time they fail and finally fix something, it’s worth it in the end.”

With a strong focus on STEM for workforce development, Bennett said it’s important for AFRL to be part of the process that gets kids excited about STEM.

“You never know what…what happens today is going to excite someone to pursue a career in STEM in the future,” Bennett said. “And if we get one spark in a day, that’s a big problem. Usually, we start a small fire and that’s really good.”

For students considering careers in STEM fields, Bennett suggested they visit grill For the summer or subscribe to Wright Scholar Research Assistant Program This allows high school students to work with the Air Force and increase their interest in the STEM career field. more information can be found in statement of facts for the program.

“Thank you everyone for the opportunity to do this… We can’t do this without AFRL, and we can’t do it without community involvement either,” Bennett said. “It takes a village to do this kind of thing and I’m glad we’re a part of this.”

Participating schools included: Northmont City Schools, Arcanum Butler High School, Tree County High School, St. Henry High School, National Train High School, Coldwater High School, Franklin Monroe High School, Versailles High School, Eaton High School, Valley View Junior School High School, Oakwood High School and Dayton Regional STEM School.


The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Air Force Division. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfare combat technologies for our air, space and cyber forces. With a workforce of more than 11,500 in nine technical areas and 40 other operations worldwide, AFRL provides a diverse range of science and technology ranging from basic research to advanced research and technology development. For more information visit: www.afresearchlab.com.