STEM Programs

STEM at the GRILL®

The GRILL® science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) efforts have centered on collaboration between Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) mentors, high school students, and high school educators.  In 2011, we developed a capstone project for a high school modeling and simulation (M&S) course. Since then, we have focused on collaborations with educators to develop challenge problem content that is distributed for free to local districts.  The M&S course and the challenge problem content introduce students to M&S technologies and applications.  Applications of these technologies span from biomedical and biological engineering to architecture to Air Force instructional capabilities such as live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) technology.

STEM Development

We have partnered with local universities and educational service centers to ensure that participating educators are provided opportunities for graduate and continuing education credits.  Teachers utilizing the content are encouraged to share edits and supplemental materials they may develop over the course of implementation including rubrics, tutorials, and other educational materials. 
Pre-service educators are being integrated into the mentoring and STEM content development process.  Internships for pre-service educators aim to prepare the educational workforce to better develop STEM professionals.  Providing these early experiences for teachers in training helps to ensure their proficiency and comfort with STEM technology. 
View STEM Education to find a variety of materials for use in the classroom.  For information regarding summer and other internship opportunities, Contact Us.

Full Throttle STEM®

Through partnerships with local educators, we have developed the Full Throttle STEM® content, which immerses and engages students in the mathematics and physics behind racing through the use of RC cars and racing game engines.  The Full Throttle STEM® content reflects the engineering challenges that Air Force engineers currently face.  Specifically, the content mimics the development efforts of LVC technology to advance training capabilities for the Air Force.  Students participating in Full Throttle STEM® activities utilize some of the same software tools relied upon by Department of Defense (DOD) scientists and engineers.  Each year, we host a Full Throttle STEM® day where students are able to present their projects using these technologies. 
View STEM Education to access Full Throttle STEM® challenge problems.  For information about upcoming Full Throttle STEM® days, Contact Us.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Collaboration

In 2016 the Air Force Research Lab’s Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory® (GRILL®) partnered with the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio to create a patch that would encourage girls to pursue a field of study in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). The goal of the patch is to get girls excited about what they can do with computers and give them the confidence and resources to continue their learning. Through this patch, girls will see that they can be the female role models for the next generation. The activities vary by troop level, with older troops doing more complicated tasks. The program starts with Brownies and continues through Ambassadors with each level having their own set of instructions to complete. All levels are designed to require no experience. Some of the levels include an “unplugged” option for participants with little to no access to technology and utilize apps for those who rely on tablets and smartphones. The program is divided into three sections—Discover, Connect, and Take Action. Each section has different activity options based on different levels of technology access and topics covered.

General information about the GRILL Scouts Introductory Patch.

Brownies (2nd and 3rd grade)

Learn about basic programming logic through videos or a worksheet and then use your new knowledge to make or play a game.

Supplemental materials for troop leaders.

Juniors (4th and 5th grade)

Learn about programming logic and then apply your new knowledge to make a craft, virtual aquarium, game, or music video.

Supplemental materials for troop leaders.

Cadettes (6th and 7th grade)

Learn about programming logic or 3D modeling and then use your new knowledge to make an interactive project or a model you can show your friends.

Supplemental materials for troop leaders.

Seniors (9th and 10th grade)

Learn about 3D modeling or beginner level Java programming and apply that knowledge to a project that you can keep and add to on your own.

Supplemental materials for troop leaders.

Ambassadors (11th and 12th grade)

Learn about 3D modeling or Java programming and apply that knowledge to a project that can be expanded.

Supplemental materials for troop leaders.