Picture robots navigating a maze as sonar sounds echo through the room. The High School Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren Robotics Competition has students assembling robots and using skills in command and control, detection, navigation and sensoring to compete for cash prizes and a year’s worth of bragging rights. And it’s back for its second year!
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) is looking for teams of high-schoolers in public, private and governor’s schools from Richmond to Stafford and throughout the Northern Neck to compete. The deadline is Jan. 6, 2023, for signing up to participate in the competition, which will be held March 31 to April 1, 2023, at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) Dahlgren Campus.
NSWCDD, UMW, MITRE Corporation and the Fredericksburg Regional Military Affairs Council are teaming up to provide this STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – opportunity to area students. The Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren aims to put a spotlight on the need for integrating more STEM learning into the classroom and presenting these types of programs in the Fredericksburg region and beyond.
“We are excited to join our partners in hosting the second annual Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren. Inviting students to explore the world of STEM is our priority,” said NSWCDD Chief Technology Officer Jennifer Clift. “They are our future leaders in everything from software development to artificial intelligence.”
The two-day competition challenges high-schoolers to establish communication with a tiny robot on wheels, program it to maneuver a mat – navigating through the “sea” and around “land masses” – then detect, acquire and act on a target. Winners will split an expected cash prize.
“UMW’s Dahlgren Campus is thrilled to partner with NSWCDD on these innovation challenges for high school students in the region focused on robotics and coding,” said Mary Washington President Troy Paino. “We look forward to what students create and code next and to continuing this powerful collaboration.”
The first high school challenge took place in April 2022 and featured 12 public, private and governor’s schools. Fredericksburg Christian School took top honors, followed by Lancaster High School in second place and Bridging Communities Governor’s School in third. Read more in the UMW news story.
To sign up for the high school challenge or for more information, contact NSWCDD Chief Technology Office Director of Academic Engagement Michael Clark at (540) 653-9154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.