DVIDS – Information – NAVWAR’s STEM Outreach Fosters Subsequent Technology of Scientists and Engineers with LEGOs
Coding and Robotics

DVIDS – Information – NAVWAR’s STEM Outreach Fosters Subsequent Technology of Scientists and Engineers with LEGOs


Naval Info Warfare Techniques Command (NAVWAR) co-hosted the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Know-how (FIRST) LEGO League (FLL) Problem Qualifying Event Nov. 5 at Eastlake Excessive College in Chula Vista, Calif.

Based by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST engages college students ages 4 to 18 in thrilling, mentor-based, analysis and robotics packages that assist them turn into science and expertise leaders, in addition to well-rounded contributors to society.

At FLL Problem Qualifying Tournaments, which NAVWAR has co-hosted since 2009 by means of its STEM Robotics Outreach Program, college students compete in hands-on challenges designed to develop their crucial pondering, coding and problem-solving abilities. NAVWAR’s cohost, the Eastlake Excessive College FIRST robotics crew known as TitanBot, is a non-profit, student-run group which facilitates STEM-related actions and mentorship alternatives for youthful college students.

The NAVWAR STEM Robotics Outreach Program, created by Robotics Outreach Coordinator and Event Director Wanda Curtis, permits the workforce to interact the group as a coach or mentor to an area robotics crew. Now, each she and Brian Williams function co-coordinators and FIRST event administrators, partaking and coaching NAVWAR and Naval Info Warfare Middle (NIWC) Pacific workers year-round. Examples embody lunchtime brown bag occasions constructing LEGO fashions for FLL competitions and informational seminars to assist workers coach and mentor native robotics groups. Each Curtis and Williams need to make it as simple as potential for the NAVVWAR workforce to become involved with robotics outreach in the local people.

“We’ve seen the affect that our work has on college students’ STEM involvement all through the years, and we couldn’t do it with out the assistance of our nice volunteers,” mentioned Williams. “We’re at the moment the one FLL Problem event hosted south of the I-8, supporting part of San Diego that’s historically much less represented in STEM actions.”

This yr, 42 NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific workers volunteered as judges, referees, and inspectors, together with NAVWAR Govt Director John Pope and his spouse, Daybreak Pope. Earlier than getting out on the competitors ground, every of the groups’ robots underwent a “Navy inspection” from the Popes, in addition to Logistics Specialty Chief (Floor Warfare/Aviation Warfare) Manny DeJesus and Michael “Spock” McMillan, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) division head, each from NIWC Pacific.

The “Navy inspection” evaluated the robots’ readiness and features in addition to allowed college students to interact in extra conversations with actual scientists and engineers from the Navy. In conversing with the crew members, NAVWAR leaders higher understood the duties the scholars achieved with their robotic. The scholars additionally gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for real-world STEM careers.

“Each Daybreak and I had been coaches in FLL Problem earlier than, so inspecting these robots is a pleasant reminder of what we used to do with our personal children,” mentioned John Pope. “It’s fantastic to see the members’ creativity in constructing their robots and to listen to them describe with such ardour how their robots work.”

This yr’s 2022 theme is “SUPERPOWERED,” tasking groups to reimagine the way forward for sustainable vitality and energy their concepts ahead. FLL Problem invitations groups of as much as 10 kids, ages 9 to 14, to design and function their very own small-scale autonomous LEGO robots to finish missions based mostly on theme, which this yr is amassing and distributing vitality. Every crew competed in three two-and-a-half-minute robotic recreation matches to find out their highest rating. Examples of missions included retrieving vitality items from windmills or turbine wheels in water reservoirs, all of that are constructed of LEGO fashions.

“My favourite half about planning this event is seeing all the children interacting and having enjoyable with the large robots we’ve constructed and competing within the challenges,” mentioned Jason Nguyen, TitanBot CEO and present highschool senior.

Along with the robotic video games, groups additionally offered their robotic design, core values and a analysis challenge centered on real-world problem-solving to establish revolutionary options. As a part of FIRST’s mission, members are inspired to participate in gracious professionalism with their opponents, making a supportive and collaborative surroundings the place there’s room for everybody to be taught and win.

Marty Machniak, engagement/expertise, switch and transition lead at NIWC Pacific, mentored a crew from St. Kieran Catholic College in El Cajon. He has been working with St. Kieran since 2005, when his oldest of 4 kids was a scholar. Though his youngest has left the college 5 years in the past, he has continued to remain on as a mentor for his or her FLL Problem crew.

“I’ve continued to be a mentor as a result of I really like encouraging STEM, not solely to college students at that essential age, but additionally their mother and father and faculty directors,” he mentioned. “A couple of years in the past, I ran right into a former crew member, now finding out mechanical engineering at UC San Diego, who thanked me for uplifting his ardour for engineering. Meaning extra to me than absolutely anything, to see my constructive affect on the subsequent technology.”

NAVWAR Commander Rear Adm. Doug Small was invited to be a part of the opening ceremony. “It’s my first time at an FLL event, and I’m blown away by the quantity of labor the children have put into their robots, from coding to design to constructing,” he mentioned in his speech. “As you’ll be able to see at our expertise shows, we need to present you what we construct for the world’s best Navy – robots that float, swim, fly, or orbit.”

The NAVWAR expertise shows, staffed by present NIWC Pacific workers and former TitanBots, featured examples of autonomous underwater autos and scale fashions of sunshine spacecraft. Gabriella Loaiza and Sean Stanko answered questions from any curious college students or onlookers about what their robots can do. Each of them acquired concerned with the Navy by means of the Naval Analysis Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP), which supplies alternatives for undergraduate and graduate college students to take part in analysis at a Navy laboratory.

“My involvement in TitanBots and FIRST furthered my love for robotics and engineering,” mentioned Loaiza, a mechanical engineer at NIWC Pacific. “As a part of NREIP, I labored in the identical Unmanned Automobile Maritime lab that I now work full-time in. I really like that I get to make use of my creativity and problem-solving abilities to proceed constructing robots and even work out new challenges, like making them run underwater.”

This yr, there are 45 NAVWAR-mentored groups in San Diego concerned with FIRST throughout the completely different age-range competitions. By mentoring the subsequent technology of scientists and engineers, NAVWAR helps encourage a way of innovation to work collectively and clear up issues as a crew. Competitions like this enable college students to construct their confidence, information and technical abilities that they may then carry with them all through their schooling and profession.

“Though we had much less opponents than common with the area recovering from the pandemic, this event was nonetheless an excellent alternative for all of us right here at NAVWAR and NIWC Pacific to become involved with STEM outreach,” mentioned Curtis. “As an added measure, the TitanBots realized rather a lot about planning, schedules, communication, logistics and security, in addition to serving to the subsequent technology of scientists.”

Based mostly on the groups’ scores on the sport discipline and within the judged occasions, groups will then advance to the Regional Event. Groups had been additionally awarded for his or her presentation efficiency and the way nicely they demonstrated core values, technique and robotic design. Winners and scores from the competitors could be discovered at www.flltournament.com/AwardResults.aspx?TID=25686

Groups which have superior to Regionals will compete for a spot within the FLL California Southern Championship in Riverside, Calif. Dec. 17.

About NAVWAR

NAVWAR identifies, develops, delivers, and sustains data warfighting capabilities and companies that allow naval, joint, coalition, and different nationwide missions working in warfighting domains from seabed to house and thru our on-line world. NAVWAR consists of greater than 11,000 civilian, lively responsibility, and reserve professionals positioned all over the world.







Date Taken: 11.14.2022
Date Posted: 11.14.2022 17:07
Story ID: 433246
Location: SAN DIEGO, US






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