Student teams from across region to compete in AFRL challenge


Teams from 10 area high schools will participate in the 11th annual AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory) Challenge Competition from April 15-April 19 at the Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive.

The event is hosted by the AFRL Information Directorate, also known as the Rome Lab, in partnership with the institute.

The competition, during a week when students are on a school break, aims to provide a more realistic view into types of high-tech problems the nation is facing today, and how engineers and researchers go about dissecting and solving them, the institute said.

Teams will receive this year’s challenge theme upon arrival April 15, and will have the next four days to solve it.

Rome Lab engineers and scientists will be on hand to answer questions regarding the challenge problem throughout the week.

Among participating high school teams, each consisting of two students and a teacher:

Central Valley Academy —Students Dale Windecker and Carter Wynn, with teacher Wes Laurion;

Clinton — Students Jessica Ritz and Kim Rivera, with teacher Theresa Chesebro;

Frankfort-Schuyler — Students Ryan Janis and John Tofani, with teacher Christopher Snell;

• Holland Patent — Students Emmalee Howard and Jacqueline Mann, with teacher Richard Zacek;

 Holy Cross Academy — Students Noelle DiRuzzo and Lily Domes, with teacher John DiRuzzo;

• Oriskany — Students Wesley Appler and Joshua Macera, with teacher Teresa Mann;

Remsen —Students Sydney Boucher and Shaun Graves, with teacher Dan O’Bryan;

Rome Free Academy — Students Elena Davis and Chris Incorvaia, with Teacher Albert Bangs;

• Vernon-Verona-Sherrill — Students Nathan Angell and Eric Surprenant, with teacher Sondra Whalen;

• Westmoreland — Students Austen Bowers and Jarrett Flint, with teacher Nick Darrah.

Competition judging will begin the morning of April 19, with an awards ceremony at 1:15 p.m. Winners will be awarded paid summer internships, as well as Microsoft Surface Pros.

This year’s challenge problem was developed by the Rome Lab’s Information Exploitation and Operations Division.

Students will “design, build, and execute an Air Force mission as the cyber mission forces supporting a military operation. I expect it will be an eye-opening experience for the participants,” says Jeff DeMatteis, Rome Lab STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) outreach coordinator.


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