County students, Travis AFB to team up for problem-solving exercise

January 16 2018

By Reporter Staff

Posted: 01/15/18, 6:39 PM PST | Updated: 7 hrs ago

Solano County Office of Education leaders, in a partnership with Travis Air Force Base, are launching an event, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, that will enlist the help of Solano County high school students to tackle real-world problems at Travis Air Force Base.

The Phoenix Spark Challenge — described as a strategy used by the military to solve problems shared by military operational experts, academia and government agencies — will take place May 18 at the sprawling base south of Vacaville.

The academic-minded event calls for students “to design, solve and innovate in resolving real-life problems facing Travis Air Force Base,” Gethsemane Moss, senior director of community engagement, wrote in a press release.

The experience will allow area students to showcase their problem-solving know-how “while demonstrating their 21st-century skills, including critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration while applying Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM),” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, said in the prepared statement.

“It will also provide young people a chance to explore some of the various job opportunities available as part of a military career,” she added.

The formal titles of the three challenges are:

• Airfield Lighting Check: Design a system that saves time by remotely and wirelessly checking the lighting on the runway.

• County-Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): Design a system that can deny UAS (commonly known as drones) entry into airspace.

• Self-Driving Bus: Design a driverless vehicle capable of carrying 15 to 20 passengers with luggage from the passenger terminal to the Visitors Center.

Applications for this event will be available starting Thursday.

For more information, contact Gillie Miller, director of college/career readiness, at gmiller@solanocoe.net.

http://www.thereporter.com/general-news/20180115/county-students-travis-afb-to-team-up-for-problem-solving-exercise