REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (May 11, 2022) – It is full steam ahead for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center’s partnership with the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering.
In February, the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center officially signed a Partner in Education Agreement with the school – the nation’s only high school that integrates cyber technology and engineering into all of its academic offerings. The memorandum of understanding formally establishes a relationship between the Center’s Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate and ASCTE.
In April, students from the school began touring the center, having the opportunity to see firsthand the cutting-edge technology at S3I.
“Encouraging today’s students to pursue becoming our next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals is critical to the future not only of our Army but for the nation,” said S3I Director James Kirsch. “Partnerships with places like ASCTE enables us to build those relationships with students and enable them to experience the exciting careers available in the science and engineering fields. The tours we provided were focused on showing the students real world applications of the concepts they study in school as well as the hands on opportunities to solve real problems for our Soldiers.”
For the students, the tours provided field experience, while also deconstructing some preconceived notions that the students held about the Army, said ASCTE Dean of Teacher and Student Learning Rosemary Hodges.
“With the MOU, AvMC has cut through the red tape that we are still trying to cut through with other government agencies, but they have set a path – shined a light - on what can be done. And we are so excited,” Hodges said.
The next step in the partnership will be establishing mentorships between the students and AvMC team members. Those mentors might not necessarily be cyber professionals or subject matter experts, but instead will focus on the students seeing the entire landscape of what AvMC - and the Army – is all about.
“We have students right now who love cyber engineering but don’t want to be a cyber professional,” Hodges said. “But now they are thinking, ‘If I can speak the language, I can be a part of a human resource or legal department.’”
“We’ve designed the mentorship and internship program to gradually move students from a guided experience to an independent one,” added ASCTE Director of Admissions & Advancement Aaron Brazelton. “And that is a really innovative and transformative approach to education that has paid off dividends for us.”
The school, which opened in 2020, is currently located on the campus of Oakwood University in Huntsville, while its permanent campus is under construction in Cummings Research Park. It is scheduled to open at its new home on Wynn Drive in fall of 2022.
For the fall semester, the school will enroll students, grades 9-12 from across Alabama. It is a competitive process to be accepted to the school, which is which aims to create an environment where academia, government entities, industry and nonprofits will all serve as stakeholders in shaping the education process.
“We are thrilled to work alongside DEVCOM AVMC to deepen our students’ understanding of the diverse opportunities available to them in the fields of cyber and engineering,” said ASCTE President Matt Massey. “We know that this partnership will provide the critical insight students need as they prepare to make choices that will affect not just their future careers, but our ability as a nation to drive the innovation necessary to remain ahead of the anticipated challenges in the field.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.