RFA team second in cyber challenge

A student team from New York Mills won first place while a Rome Free Academy team took second place in the 5th annual Challenge Competition for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that was hosted last week by the Griffiss Institute in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Teams that each included two students and a teacher/coach mentor from eight local high schools participated in vying to solve a "real world" problem of interest to the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, the institute said. This year’s challenge was to derive meaning from a complex data set using visualization software, and was designed by directorate engineers.

The winning New York Mills team included students George Albert and Tevin Pham. The Rome Free Academy team was comprised of students Joshua Metzger and Michael Mellace. Receiving a third place award was an Ilion High school team with students Benjamin Matthews and Jonathan Hoover.

Two summer internships were provided by the Air Force lab, and one summer internship was each provided by Exelis and the Griffiss Institute. Participating teachers/coaches received a stipend for mentoring their students throughout the week, the institute said. Other participating schools included Holland Patent, Remsen, Westmoreland, Holy Cross Academy of Oneida Castle, and Thomas R. Proctor High School of Utica.

During an awards ceremony, certificates of achievement were presented to all the Challenge Competition participants. In addition, certificates were presented to two separate "Cyber Patriot" teams in another of the institute’s STEM initiatives; included were teams from the RFA Junior ROTC program and from Frankfort Schuyler High School.


Cyber Patriot is a national high school cyber defense competition geared to motivate students toward careers in that field and other STEM disciplines, said the institute.