U.S. Air Force partners with GOOD to launch online STEM network

Lauren Williams's picture
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The United States Air Force has partnered with GOOD magazine to help launch the Air Force Collaboratory , an interactive online platform that invites Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) inclined students, educators and innovators alike to solve some of the Air Force’s toughest challenges. The Air Force Collaboratory launched at http://budurl.com/AirForceCollaborate on August 1, 2013 and will run through the end of November.

The partnership emerges from the demand to incorporate STEM to develop innovative solutions for real-world issues. Currently, the Air Force’s humanitarian and search and rescue missions have increasingly relied on technological advances to save lives threatened by natural disasters. Through integrating STEM education with operational strategy in The Air Force Collaboratory, the Air Force and GOOD hope to inspire ideas to develop new technologies that enhance these strategies, driving the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

This open collaborative initiative will connect students and educators with Airmen, and challenge them to develop innovative and unique ideas for three critical Air Force projects:

  • The first project, “Search and Rescue 2.0” which will be active for collaboration from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, solicits participants to develop new technologies through rapid prototyping for search and rescue operations to help save lives trapped in collapsed structures
  • The second project, “Mind of a Quadrotor,” which will be active for collaboration from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, challenges participants to help build a system that allows a quadrotor to navigate its surroundings with minimal human interaction.
  • The third and final project, “Launch of GPS IIF,” which will be active for collaboration from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, tests participants to determine the most effective location within the GPS satellite constellation to launch the Air Force’s newest GPS satellite.

“The Air Force is about a lot more than just flying planes,” said Col. Marcus Johnson, Strategic Marketing Division chief. “We want to give students and educators the opportunity to learn and work on our most innovative projects, alongside Airmen. In return, we will get to work with some of the best and brightest to help the Air Force develop solutions that can enhance our Airmen’s capabilities to accomplish their missions.”

The Air Force Collaboratory and the progress of STEM education will be documented on the STEM Hub, featuring an editorial series humanizing the efforts of STEM education as the initiative progresses.

“Here at GOOD, we know collaboration leads to innovation. We’ve seen it time and time again with our own boundary-pushing projects,” said Jay Ku, Head of Strategic Partnerships at GOOD. “The chance to work with the Air Force on such important issues that not only advance our goals of offering educational and groundbreaking programs, but allow us to also advance our nation at the same time is just the kind of thing our community wants to support.”

More information can be found at the The Air Force Collaboratory.