Recently, United States President Barack Obama said, “Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation.”
That engine of innovation is especially important within the national defense arena and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Such skills are critical for careers in systems design and manufacturing, and a strong manufacturing base is essential to maintaining a well-built defense.
For MENTOR, DARPA will contract multiple organizations to deploy a variety of programmable manufacturing equipment, such as 3D printers, to high schools throughout the country and orchestrate a series of prize-based challenges to encourage competition and collaboration within high school teams as they design and build cyber-electro-mechanical systems. “The systems will be of moderate complexity,” said Paul Eremenko, DARPA program manager. “Challenges will involve the design and building of things like go-carts, mobile robots and small unmanned aircraft. And we’ll encourage collaboration during the challenges through the use of social media and social networking applications.”