• Lt. Col. Richard B. Gussenhoven, professor of military science at the City College of New York, along with Terri Stripling (left), Ten80 Education president, and Tom Patsis (center), U.S. Army Racing, speak to high school students about STEM education at the U.S. Army Racing Challenge hosted at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y.

    Ten80 Education STEM Program Panel

    Lt. Col. Richard B. Gussenhoven, professor of military science at the City College of New York, along with Terri Stripling (left), Ten80 Education president, and Tom Patsis (center), U.S. Army Racing, speak to high school students about STEM education...

  • One foursome of high school students builds up their courage to
pitch the judge with their motorsports company winning pitch before time
runs out.  Each student played a role on the team during this U.S. Army
Racing Challenge and National STEM League competition April 11, 2014,
sponsored by the U.S. Army and Ten80 Education hosted at Medgar Evers
College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Technology is advancing at a rate never before seen in our history. Every day, science fiction moves closer to becoming science fact.
Some understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics will
be an essential element of these students' future success.

    Pitching the Judge with a Novel Concept

    One foursome of high school students builds up their courage to pitch the judge with their motorsports company winning pitch before time runs out. Each student played a role on the team during this U.S. Army Racing Challenge and National STEM League...

  • Intelligence and skill are required from students who participated in this U.S. Army Racing Challenge in partnership with Ten80 Education, the National STEM League and Medgar Evers College, Friday, April 11, 2014. The Green Team starts blinking blue first on their hand-held blinker while Valentin Vollmer, a Ten80 Education product developer, watches closely from the corner of his eye to capture the transmitting message. This binary code challenge leverages all four components of STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- to produce the correct answers.

    Let the blinking begin

    Intelligence and skill are required from students who participated in this U.S. Army Racing Challenge in partnership with Ten80 Education, the National STEM League and Medgar Evers College, Friday, April 11, 2014. The Green Team starts blinking blue...

  • Inside the Racing and Energy Challenge room, a Green Team member receives the remote control in his left hand from his teammate while turning it around to face forward with his right hand at the same time. Now that's multi-tasking! This team of high school students was highly energy throughout the racecar relay because they wanted to win in this National STEM League competition hosted by the U.S. Army Racing Team and Ten80 Education at Medgar Evers College, April 11, 2014.

    Hand and eye coordination.

    Inside the Racing and Energy Challenge room, a Green Team member receives the remote control in his left hand from his teammate while turning it around to face forward with his right hand at the same time. Now that's multi-tasking! This team of high...

NEW YORK (April 24, 2014) -- In an effort to help cultivate a public more literate in science, technology, engineering and science (STEM) and help prepare students for high-tech futures, the U.S. Army, Don Schumacher Racing, TEN80 Education and the National STEM League, invested in New York City's youth April 11, 2014, at Medgar Evers College for a student racing challenge among a number of middle and high schools.

"The Student Racing Challenge is a project-based curriculum for students in grades six through 12 built on the themes of motorsports and safe, sustainable transportation," said Terri Stripling, president and founder of Ten80 Education, an academic organization that is expanding the number of students inspired to engage in STEM learning.

"Students work together in teams and compete through challenges that directly parallel the arduous preparation of real National Hot Rod Association teams, underscoring the importance of science, technology, engineering and math in our lives and our futures."

Outfitted in brightly-colored team t-shirts, approximately 250 students grouped into teams of four, accompanied by an Army group leader, rotated through three, hands-on learning laboratories in order to collaborate, create and compete against each other for the grand prize -- a remote controlled racecar for the winning school.

At the first obstacle, the Racing & Energy Challenge, teams participated in a noisy, yet active, racecar relay, using speed and angles of travel to engineer the performance of an electric racecar.

They interacted with Tom Patsis, a team member of Don Schumacher Racing, who builds top fuel dragsters for seven-time champion Tony Schumacher.

"The Army is always innovating and leading research to keep our Soldiers at the forefront of technology for their advancement and safety," said Patsis. "The same can be said of NHRA where advancements in technology impact on-track performance and driver safety every day."

At the second rotation, the Rover & Innovation Challenges, students combined software and hardware to solve problems using mathematics and a handheld blinking device.

"The blinker replicates the language spoken by computers -- 0s and 1s -- which is called binary code," said Ashwin Wagadarikar, a scientist working with Ten80 Education. "They have to figure out how to decode this binary code in these exercises and then transmit a message back to us in binary code using the blinker." Definitely scientific and mathematical!

In the final challenge, the Enterprise Challenge, students, acting as owners of their team's motorsports company, tested their marketing and design skills.

"Students are given 30 minutes to design their team's name, color scheme and desired sponsors for their racing company before pitching their winning idea to the judge in 60 seconds or less," said Cindy Wann, a Ten80 marketing presenter. "At the end of the competition, the judge will select the three best team pitches, and those three teams will compete again for the title of best pitch and for additional points."

In the end, Medgar Evers College Preparatory School cleaned house with not only the highest score of 330 points.

Each school that participated in this National Stem League competition is eligible to have the Army activate a sponsorship for curriculum and a competition, said Strickland.

"During these challenges, students must use things like physics and math to solve these problems because much of this type of work is data driven and about creative design," said Alfred Santilli, a technology education teacher employed by Riverside High School of Engineering and Design located in Yonkers, N.Y.

For Soldiers like Staff Sgt. Keegan Waldrop, an Army recruiter, the Ten80 Education event was more than a break from standard recruiting activities. It was a new method of interacting with his target market.

"Many kids don't know what STEM does for them," said Waldrop. "They don't even know that the Army has STEM careers and STEM initiatives. I think Ten80 and the racing platform achieved a greater sense of awareness with these students here today, and it helps us open up their eyes to other STEM opportunities in the Army, should they wish to pursue that route. Ten80 does a fantastic job, and I'd like to work with them again if I can."

By partnering with Ten80 Education, the Army works toward changing the public's perception of today's Army. As we withdraw from Afghanistan and other footprints around the globe and continue our transformation into the Army of 2020, the Army is placing more of an emphasis on the organization's ability to think, build and create, leveraging science, technology, engineering and math at every turn.

"In an increasingly technical world, education in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math has become much more important," said Lt. Col. Richard B. Gussenhoven, a professor of military science at the City College of New York and a guest speaker at the National STEM League competition. "The U.S. Army is more technologically advanced than ever before. Whether you're talking about aviation, space, cyber defense or even artillery, the Army needs Soldiers who are smart enough to operate and maintain equipment, and to make critical decisions in complex situations. The future of our Army and our nation depends on it."

Page last updated Fri April 18th, 2014 at 00:00