WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
The opportunity to challenge high school students to adapt commercial off-the-shelf gaming technology to help solve Air Force training problems is one reason why Jennifer Winner loves working for the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Winner, a researcher with AFRL's Human Effectiveness Directorate, supports the Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory. The GRILL mission is to conduct training research using game-based technologies to increase the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. Air Force by leveraging affordable, off-the-shelf technologies. The GRILL is also one of a family of Air Force Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math outreach efforts to increase youth interest in those disciplines.
"Every day I work with student researchers I'm amazed by their talent and creativity," said Winner. "The GRILL introduces them to real Air Force technical problems and challenges them to work together using gaming software to identify candidate solutions."
GRILL is directed by AFRL's 711 Human Performance Wing. The GRILL team recently re-launched an updated version of their website with more information on the program. The site has information about GRILL research projects along with information regarding opportunities for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, teachers, and collegiate researchers. In addition to outreach information, the new website houses free challenge problem downloads for STEM students and teachers. These challenge problems and tutorials are intended to guide and support instruction for middle and high school students working with 3D modeling and simulation tools.
AFRL considers STEM educational outreach an investment in the future workforce, Winner said. Air Force STEM efforts like GRILL introduce young people to Air Force military and civilian mentors and the work performed in DoD laboratories. The ultimate goal is to create a pipeline for recruitment of future scientists and engineers.
For more information, please visit the GRILL website at http://www.gamingresearchintegrationforlearninglab.com
(Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory™, GRILL™, and Full Throttle STEM™ are trademarks of AFRL's 711 Human Performance Wing.)