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Three Local High School Teams Awarded Prizes at 9th Annual AFRL Challenge Competition at Griffiss Institute

All teams from 2017 AFRL Challenge CompetitionROME, NY — The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), in partnership with the Griffiss Institute (GI), are proud to have once again hosted the 9th Annual Challenge Competition, as one of their joint STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives.

The 2017 Challenge Competition began Monday, April 17, 2017, and ended today, Friday, April 21, at Griffiss Institute, in Rome, New York.

Eight area high schools participated in the 2017 Challenge:

 

Brookfield Central School

Students: Ryan Ferris and Emma Smith

Teacher: Jona Snyder

 

Central Valley Academy

Students: Anthony Salvati and Dakota Turk

Teacher: Wes Laurion

 

Frankfort-Schuyler Central School

Students: Noah Lape and Alexander Reid

Teacher: Jodi Reid

 

New York Mills School

Students: Christina Malinowski and Rachel Siegel

Teacher: Michael Eramo

 

Oriskany Central School

Students: Dylan LaSalle and Kyle Pestar

Teacher: Teresa Mann

 

Thomas R. Proctor High School

Students: Ta Bo and Louis Cortez

Teacher: Sam Famolaro

 

Westmoreland High School

Students: Jacob Gray and Samantha Sill

Teacher: Nick Darrah

 

Whitesboro Central School

Students: Alexander Hoy and Alex Nonemaker

Teacher: Stephen Costanza

 

While all eight teams were recognized for their hard work and efforts, three teams stood out and were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place titles.

The winners of the 9th Annual 2017 AFRL Challenge Competition are:

1st Place: Anthony Salvati and Dakota Turk, Central Valley Academy

2nd Place: Ryan Ferris and Emma Smith, Brookfield Central School

3rd Place: Christina Malinowski and Rachel Siegel, New York Mills School

The winning teams could choose from available paid summer internships at AFRL/RI, Griffiss Institute, or two Microsoft Surface Pro 4’s. Anthony and Dakota will be interning at AFRL/RI over the summer of 2017, while Christina and Rachel will intern at the GI. Ryan and Emma chose the new Microsoft Surfaces Pro 4 as their prize.

The Challenge Competition is an annual competitive STEM initiative for local high school students. It was held during a week when students are on a school break and its intent is to provide a more realistic view into the types of high tech problems the nation is facing today, and how engineers and researchers go about dissecting and solving these problems. The best explanation to describe the competition is “mental marathon”.

This year’s challenge was developed by the Information Systems Division of ARFL/RI.

"This year’s challenge was developed by the Information Systems Division. It covered a wide variety of technical topics that could be used in a real-world computer forensic investigation,” says Meghan Caiazzo, the 2017 Challenge Competition lead.

The teams received the challenge problem upon arrival Monday morning, and had the past four days to solve it. AFRL/RI engineers and scientists were on hand to answer questions regarding the challenge problem throughout the week.

The students, who participated in the competition, worked for an entire week to solve the challenge problem. Many found that it was the first time they had ever had a problem to solve that encompasses what they learn in every academic area in school, from politics, to English, to math and science.

Also for many of the participants, being able to spend a week bouncing ideas off local engineers was an incredible benefit and opportunity.

It gave many of the participants a new perspective on the field of engineering and they got to learn a more about the work that takes place at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, and the Griffiss Institute.

On Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:00 am, competition judging began, followed by a poster session, luncheon at noon, and awards ceremony at 12:45 pm, where parents and friends, local dignitaries, and staff from local tech companies, were on hand to support, congratulate, and recognize these technology leaders of tomorrow.

The judges for this year’s competition were:

  • James Cusack, Principal Engineer, Griffiss Institute
  • Joseph Stanton, Software Engineer, BAE Systems
  • Dr. Bryant Wysocki, Chief Engineer, Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory

This event was made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors:

BAE Systems, Mohawk Valley EDGE, CUBRC, The Savoy, Taco Del Mar, Teddy's, and LaRoma Pizzeria.

1st Place Central Valley Academy2nd PlLace Brookfield Central School3rd Place New York Mills

 

Photographs:

Teams: All 2017 AFRL Challenge Competition teams

Team 1: (l-r) (first place team) Central Valley Academy: Anthony Salvati;, teacher Wes Laurion; and Dakota Turk

Team 2: (l-r) (second place team) Brookfield Central School: Ryan Ferris; teacher Jona Snyder; and Emma Smith

Team 3: (l-r) (third place team) New York Mills:  teacher Michael Eramo; Christina Malinowski; and Rachel Siegel

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