Community Impact

We at the GRILL® strive to create programs that foster excitement and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in students and teachers in our local community.  Our investment in student and teacher mentoring has had an exponential impact:

Increased student interest in STEM: Districts within the State of Ohio have witnessed student success with modeling and simulation (M&S), increased student interest in STEM, M&S and programming, and the successful integration of technologies into high school classrooms.
Increased teacher proficiency and qualification: Successful partnerships with the Darke County Educational Service Center and Wright State University have enabled teachers immersed in the GRILL® to receive continuing education and / or graduate coursework credits.
More learning opportunities for a wider audience: The students in our internship program collaborate with teachers to demonstrate their solutions.  These materials are made available for free, and pay forward the United States Air Force investment in STEM.
Stronger training capabilities for the Warfighter: Since 2011, students completing our internship program have increased knowledge of and interest in STEM careers.  Many apply for positions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and will directly impact simulation and training capabilities for the Warfighter.

Summer Program 
We are committed to continuously evolving and growing.  We are focused on measuring our success by tracking information on graduation rates, career selection of our students, and more. These measures are currently in development. Here are some ways in which we are enhancing our summer program: 
• Increased the size of our summer program 150%, from 10 participants in 2011 to 25 in 2015.
• Increased diversity of our summer team composition, from majority of Wright State Scholars to a more even distribution of Wright State Scholars, teachers, and students.
• Inclusion of pre-service educators to prepare future teachers to seamlessly integrate technology into their curriculum.

Full Throttle STEM® Program 
We coordinate annual Full Throttle STEM® days to provide students an opportunity to showcase their work.  The number of schools participating in this program is steadily growing. from 100 participants across 6 districts to 545 participants across 10 districts.  Although early in their program, it is clear that students and districts are embracing the program and the impact that it is having on the students is evident in the increased complexity of the projects showcased at their events. 
Full Throttle STEM® is a high school STEM initiative entered on physics, math, and M&S applied to the sport of racing and provides students with critical thinking, relevant learning opportunities, and challenges their problem solving abilities.  
Learn more about Full Throttle STEM®.

Lessons Learned
Our experiences have provided us with observations and anecdotal evidence on the impact of short-term student internships and other aspects of our program.  We have shared our lessons learned in the hope that other programs will benefit from our experiences.
Winner, J., Puckett, K., Folkerth, L., Malone, A., Holt, J. (2014, December). Modeling and simulation challenge problems in high school classrooms and internships: Lessons learned. Paper presented at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference, Orlando, FL. 

Our team is grateful for all of our partner districts and organizations who have supported our students, teachers, and collaborations.  We are especially grateful to those partners who have been with us from the beginning.  These partners include, but are not limited to, the Wright Scholars Program, Wright State University, Wright Patterson Air Force Base Educational Outreach Office, the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, Humana, Full Throttle Karting, Eldora Speedway, Darke County Educational Service Center, and the school districts of Ansonia, Arcanum-Butler, Bradford, the Dayton Regional STEM School, Oakwood, Mississinawa Valley, New Bremen, Northmont, St. Henry, Tri-County North, Tri-Village, and Versailles.

M&S for Public Safety 
We have been working within the State of Ohio to pilot an effort in which students build models of their school to familiarize first responders with facilities in their district.  Arcanum-Butler, Northmont City Schools, and Tri-Village Local School District are among the schools within the State of Ohio who are piloting this effort.
The vision is to leverage the models of schools to train responders for active shooter and other emergency response scenarios.  This collaboration has been made possible by our students, who have demonstrated the value that 3D M&S can bring to public safety.  From virtual models of their school to game-based fire evacuation simulations, students have honed their skills while delivering solutions to assist with safety and emergency response training and preparedness.  For information regarding these efforts or to actively participate in the use of M&S to improve public safety, please Contact Us.

STEM Content for the Classroom
In 2011, we collaborated with the Dayton Regional STEM Center to develop a capstone simulation project for a high school M&S survey course.  The course has been taught in over twelve districts in the Dayton region.  For information regarding the modeling and simulation introductory course, visit the Dayton Regional STEM Center.
We collaborate with local teachers and students to develop free content for use by school districts.  The content is in the form of challenge problems, which engage students in a variety of projects with real-world application.  We have had successful outreach with challenge problems, specifically with the Full Throttle STEM® challenge problems, which are being implemented by an increasing number of districts.  Our STEM content turns local school districts into active participants in M&S by giving them resources to use to teach their students.
Access the Challenge Problems and supplemental materials.