By Debbie Gregory.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is helping to turn a local schoolroom into a hyper-learning environment for a rigorous science technology and math curriculum.
The DoD has unveiled a partnership with the Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus in Washington to drive science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning through simulation technology. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall was present to launch the Cardozo FLEX Lab Aviation Classroom Experience, or FLEX-ACE.
FLEX-ACE turned a classroom into a test-and-evaluation lab featuring three dual-pilot flight simulators, an air-traffic-control tower, and nine remotely piloted vehicle stations.
There are presently 18 FLEX-ACE labs worldwide.
Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony were defense officials, DoD STEM partners, Cardozo administration and staff, and leaders from the District of Columbia government and public schools.
Kendall told the students, “You’ve got a great opportunity here to take advantage of the equipment, the interaction you’ll have with others, the connection to other laboratories — the variety of things you can do here to open up things for yourselves.”
The system lets students role-play in real-world missions that take place at test ranges across the country and in local air space. Each mission requires critical thinking in applying core math and science competencies ranging from time-speed-distance calculations to advanced physics, according to TEQGames, the originator of the labs.
The focus on science-technology learning is part of the mission: to attract, inspire and develop exceptional STEM talent across the education continuum to enrich current and future service members and the DoD workforce to meet defense technological challenges.
In his remarks to the students, Kendall recalled that he went through school during the Space Age, when the nation was working to put people on the moon.
“Think about that era, and today there are some interesting parallels,” he said. “Many areas of technology are opening up now too in aerospace and space.”
“Make the choice to dig into this and learn as much as you can,” Kendall told the students. “It will serve you enormously well.”