SPECIALIZED CHAMBER AT LAB — Sigmund Grudzinski, an engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate in Rome, explains an anechoic chamber to students during a National Week at the Labs initiative. The chamber is a room designed to completely absorb reflections of electromagnetic waves. A secondary effect is the absorption of sound waves. It is also insulated from exterior sources of noise. (Photo submitted)

Students participate in hands-on activities at Rome Lab

Published Mar 19, 2017 at 9:00am

Twenty Proctor High School students got a close-up look at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Information Directorate, also called the Rome lab, as part of the National Week at the Labs initiative. The students were able to participate in a variety of activiites, getting up to their elbows in several high-tech topics.

The lab’s Educational Outreach Office in conjunction with the students took part in activities including cryptography, an anechoic chamber involving electromagnetic and sound waves, plus visualization/optical Illusions, said Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The base is headquarters for the overall AFRL.

The initiative is designed to bring together scientists, engineers, and lab workers to engage students, especially those in underserved communities, in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities, said Wright-Patterson.

Jeff DeMatteis, the Rome lab’s STEM Outreach coordinator, expressed enthusiasm about showing young students what is within their reach and right in their back yard.
“It is vital that the emerging generation see the cutting-edge technology that is going on in our national labs,” he said in the announcement. “For one, they get to see the awesome technical jobs that are right here in the back yard. Second, hopefully the technology we are showing them...will inspire them to think about and one day develop the technology that we will be using the in future.”

The Rome lab conducts research activities in support of various Air Force mission objectives. It employs 793 government and military and 423 contractors, with over $1.2 billion in fiscal 2016 funding.