Innovare program aims to inspire budding scientists


ROME — Griffiss Institute will host the next Innovare Elevation Series — Ask Me Anything: STEM Insights and Opportunities from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at Innovare Advancement Center, 592 Hangar Road.

The goal of the AFRL STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Outreach Program is to foster a new generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists who will one day discover and problem solve in the nation’s defense laboratories and other supporting U.S. companies.

In order to achieve this goal, a concerted effort has been created to connect business, government foundations, institutions of higher education, professional organizations, schools, teachers and students.

Guest speakers will be Jeffrey DeMatteis of the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate and Kelly Poynter, community events coordinator at Griffiss Institute.

DeMatteis, the AFRL test lead, will give a presentation on the opportunities offered in the past and where they lay for the community in the future. Throughout his entire time at the Information Directorate, DeMatteis has served as the STEM Outreach program manager.

He was responsible for the creation of the Information Directorate STEM Outreach Program in 2008, and in six years, it went from start-up to nationally recognized as one of the best in the country. The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer selected the Information Directorate as the sole recipient of its 2014 STEM Award out of 300 entries.

DeMatteis acts as the technology directorate’s focal point for all test processes and procedures, and provides expert technical and programmatic leadership, consultation, management of the Information Directorate test program. He manages the technology directorate’s independent technical review process and performs independent technical reviews of test plans.

In addition, DeMatteis monitors tests to ensure satisfactory progress in accordance with capability metrics and goals of the test. He has overseen 30 flight and ground tests since 2019. He helped establish a Memorandum of Agreement with Oneida County to allow Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate researchers to utilize the NY UAS Test Site for testing.

Corporate leaders in and around the Mohawk Valley are invited to join the STEM Pledge to invest in communities’ next generation of scientists and engineers by becoming a sponsor of Griffiss Institute’s STEM programming, and encourage their employees with STEM backgrounds to volunteer. The 2022-23 STEM sponsorship opportunity levels will be discussed during the Ask Me Anything event.

STEM Programs:

• High school competitions that address real world problems defined by senior Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) researchers. During the annual Challenge Competition, students compete for paid summer internships at AFRL/RI and local companies.

• In School Programs consist of access to engineers, Career & Science Fairs, the CyberPatriot Competition, DimensionU Competition, lab tours, the Stay Safe Online initiative, and teacher training.

• Summer Programs provide opportunities for students to further their education beyond the classroom. Students learn real skills that can be directly applied to STEM careers and education. All Summer Programs run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is free but registration is required on Eventbrite by going to, and clicking on “Tickets.”


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