Area schools to participate in AFRL Challenge Competition

Published Apr 14, 2017 at 4:00pm

Teams from eight area high schools will participate in the ninth annual AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) Challenge Competition next week on Monday-Friday at the Griffiss Institute.

The AFRL Information Directorate, also known as the Rome lab, is hosting the event in partnership with the Griffiss Institute, located at 725 Daedalian Drive at Griffiss park.

The event is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiative, held during a week when students are on school break, the institute said. It is intended to provide a realistic look at types of high-tech problems the nation is facing today, plus how engineers and researchers go about dissecting and solving them.

Among participating high schools are New York Mills, Oriskany, Proctor in Utica, Westmoreland, Whitesboro, plus Brookfield, Central Valley, and Frankfort-Schuyler. The teams will include two students and a teacher.

“This year’s challenge is being developed by the Information Systems Division. It covers a wide variety of technical topics that could be used in a real-world computer forensic investigation,” says Meghan Caiazzo, the 2017 Challenge Competition AFRL/Rome lab lead.

The high school teams will receive the “challenge problem” upon arrival Monday, and will have the next four days to solve it. Rome lab engineers and scientists will be present to answer questions throughout the week regarding the problem.

Winners of the competition will be awarded paid summer internships, as well as other prizes, the institute said.

Judging of the competition will begin Friday morning.

Judges will include James Cusack, principal engineer at Griffiss Institute; Joseph Stanton, software engineer at BAE Systems; and Bryant Wysocki, chief engineer at Rome lab.