If you have a classroom of high school students who are curious, innovative and thrive in a collaborative environment – check out this new online platform created by the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force Collaboratory. The website, https://collaboratory.airforce.com, was developed to encourage STEM-inclined students and mentors to engage and work with the Air Force to solve real-world challenges in an online community.
One thing that makes this initiative unique is the opportunity for students to work with active-duty Airmen in their fields of expertise. With the projects offered, students can present ideas, get feedback and gain experience working on real-life solutions to challenges the Air Force is currently facing. That’s STEM in action!
To get started, go to https://collaboratory.airforce.com/ and have your students create an account. After logging in, students are able to research real-time challenges and post their ideas on how they would approach solving each challenge. The platform encourages team-work and collaboration from students all over the world. Each project builds off the ideas of others and could result in the adoption of solutions by the Air Force.
The first challenge, Project: 001 — Search & Rescue 2.0, allows students to really think outside the box and push their creative boundaries to come up with new ways to reach people trapped under collapsed structures. Tiny flying robots with video cameras, heat seeking devices, and other creative solutions could be included here – the possibilities are endless!
The second challenge, Project: 002 — Mind of a Quadrotor, gives students the unique opportunity to build an autonomous system that allows a Quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human intervention. It’s guaranteed to put your engineering minds to work!
As your students are getting started and navigating the challenges, make sure you check out the resources available to help educators:
- Teacher’s Guide
- DNews videos on Collaboration and Search and Rescue
- Research Articles on Search and Rescue and Quadrotors
Look for the launch of Project: 003 — The Launch of GPS IIF in October. In the meantime, let us know what you think by commenting on this blog.