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Education

NASA Grants Support Interactive STEM Exhibits for Students

December 19, 2013
By Rachel Lilly

NASA has selected 10 education organizations to share approximately $7.7 million in grants with the hope of attracting more students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The money will go toward interactive exhibits, virtual worlds, professional development activities and community-based programs.

Nanowire-Based Memory Technology Records Movement, Pressure

December 1, 2013
By Henry S. Kenyon

Physical movement stored as memory in a microchip could lead to advances in touch screens, robot control devices and medical implants. Researchers are arraying nanowires on a microchip to form a write-read memory cell as part of ongoing work that could convert motions, such as a hand in a glove or pressing a display, into memory. Moving or putting pressure on the nanowires creates an electrical current that can be read and recorded as memory. Arrays of such cells offer the potential for a variety of user interface applications and for new ways to convert mechanical or biological actions into electronic data.

Developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), the piezoelectrically modulated resistive memory (PRM) system relies on the piezoelectric effect, where some materials, in this case zinc oxide nanowires, will generate electrical current when they are put under pressure or moved, which causes them to temporarily bend or deform. Piezoelectric materials also create mechanical strain (movement) when they are exposed to an electric current. PRM technology allows the creation of a new type of transistor that is switched on or off through movement or mechanical activity, explains Zhong Lin Wang, regents professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Material Science and Engineering in Atlanta.

Current memory systems, such as flash memory, are mainly if not entirely electronic, Wang says. But PRM technology allows the direct writing of electrical or optical memory through physical means. “Once you introduce the piezoelectric effect into the memory, you talk about the memory of strain and stress,” Wang notes.

Abu Dhabi Science Festival Influences Technical Education in the Middle East

November 18, 2013
By Rita Boland

The third Abu Dhabi Science Festival runs this year from November 14 to 23, with more than 25,000 students expected to attend. The children will participate in workshops, shows and interactive exhibits that will expose them to various scientific disciplines.

The Bottom Line: Revolution Through Evolution

November 15, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

The bottom line is that today's military structure is not set up to foster creative solutions and incorporate them into the bureaucracy, but a revolution quietly erupted in October. More than 80 innovators came together to discuss their ideas about how to solve some of the military's most vexing problems.

New Intelligence Tool Integrates with C-IED Training

October 11, 2013
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Army National Guard has integrated the Company Intelligence Support Team (COIST) workstation with its counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) training to improve operations in the field.

Johns Hopkins to Support Weapons of Mass Destruction Interdiction

October 3, 2013
George I. Seffers

Johns Hopkins University Applied Research Laboratory (JHU/APL) University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), Laurel, Md., is being awarded a $9,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide technologies for the interdiction of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive material. This effort will support the nation’s weapons of mass destruction-related counterforce, consequence assessment, defeat, and arms control objectives. This includes research; technology development; technical, scientific and program analyses; and systems integration efforts that will provide scientific and technological solutions to meet non-proliferation, counter-proliferation, consequence management, and warfighter mission objectives. The contracting activity is the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Ft. Belvoir, Va., (HDTRA1-13-D-0012).

Johns Hopkins to Develop Multi-Intelligence Software

October 3, 2013
George I. Seffers

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md., has been awarded a $6,765,425 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for developmental software. The purpose of this acquisition is to design, develop, test and demonstrate advanced net-centric, multi-intelligence exploitation and fusion capabilities capable of exploiting real-time operational signals intelligence and imagery intelligence to improve situational awareness and enable event recognition. The Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome N.Y., is the contracting activity (FA8750-13-C-0220).

AFCEANs Cycle for STEM Education

September 16, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

On October 7, AFCEA will launch the first Cycle for STEM fundraising ride. A team of 20 cyclists will leave Pittsburgh on a 335-mile, six-day ride to Washington, D.C., to raise funds for AFCEA science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational programs.

Increase Future Cyber Staff Savvy

September 16, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

AFCEA International’s Corporate Member Only Forum will focus on current and future cybersecurity staff needs. A panel of experts will discuss what it takes to ensure network security through knowledge. Dr. Earnest McDuffie lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, National Institute of Standards and Technology, will moderate the discussion.

Learning Real-World Intelligence Analysis

September 6, 2013
George I. Seffers

Officials at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, are developing a program that allows students from any academic discipline to work closely with the U.S. intelligence community in a variety of actual national security-related problems. The university is on track to begin offering a minor in intelligence analysis in the relatively near future and a major in the next five years.

Implemented about a year ago, the program is described as a work in progress. In fact, it has not yet been officially named, but will likely be called the Intelligence Analysis Program. “The goal of the program is to train the future analysts for the intelligence community, the military and business. "What we are trying to do is to provide a learning environment in which students have to deal with real analytical problems,” reports Robert Norton, professor and director of the Open Source Intelligence Laboratory, Auburn University. “We’re not just using things like case studies. We’re actually working current problems. And we do so in an environment where they’re working under an operational tempo similar to what is experienced in the intelligence community.”

Future intelligence analysts learn how analytical products are put together, how data is validated and how to communicate findings in a timely manner. “What we say is that our students work on real problems with real customers. We are working with the intelligence community, we’re working with various combatant commands, and we’re working with various businesses,” Norton says.

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