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NSWC Crane's Sea, Air And Land Challenge Scheduled For Saturday
Updated April 8, 2016 7:09 AM | Filed under: Education
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(CRANE) - Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division's (NSWC Crane) Sea, Air and Land Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at Ivy Tech Community College's main campus in Bloomington.

The challenge is a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiative with a focus on engineering and robotics that fosters interest in DoD technologies by giving kids hands-on engineering experience and exposure to the Special Operations community.

Penn State's Electro-Optics Center developed the program to establish a sustainable STEM program that introduces high school students to engineering processes and opportunities in the Navy and Department of Defense (DoD). The goal is to make the event a nationwide challenge, and NSWC Crane is the first location outside of Pennsylvania to conduct its own Sea, Air and Land Challenge.

Eleven teams with a total of 86 students from eight different Indiana schools will compete in the upcoming challenge.

NSWC Crane Director of Engagement Brian Blackwell explained, "'Sea, Air and Land' is where the Navy SEALs get their name. This program is exciting because students engage with retired personnel who are involved in the initiative. NSWC Crane is well-positioned with many former Special Forces folks combined with our engineers and technicians, all interested in supporting this initiative."

The Sea, Air and Land Challenge, which is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, is similar to the SeaPerch initiative but involves greater challenges. Students will build air and land vehicles as well as those for the sea, and whereas SeaPerch competitors build their vehicles using a kit, in the Sea, Air and Land Challenge they will not be required to use specific materials.

"There's more freedom in the design," Blackwell said. "And unlike SeaPerch, where they control their vehicle by line-of-site, the students will be behind a screen using video cameras and other sensors to navigate through the challenges."

The competition develops skills in areas including design, troubleshooting, scheduling, budgeting, teamwork, project management, manufacturing and programming and controls. According to Blackwell, the program not only promotes excitement about technology opportunities that impact the DoD but also shows students they can serve their nation without being in uniform.

This year's schedule is as follows:

  • 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. -- Registration and team preparation
  • 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. -- Welcome and opening ceremony
  • 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. -- Sea, Air and Land challenges
  • 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. -- Teams present challenge details to judges
  • 1:15 p.m. top 1: 30 p.m. -- Score tallying
  • 1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. -- Closing ceremony and awards presentation

For more information on the 2016 challenge, visit .

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Special Missions, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. NSWC Crane's Special Missions focus area is the center of excellence for special warfare weapons and weaponry, providing full-spectrum life-cycle engineering and testing support functions for reliable and effective weapons, munitions and electronic systems for special operations and expeditionary forces.

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