Broadway Utica
HomeCommunity Update10th Annual AFRL Challenge Competition Awards Ceremony

10th Annual AFRL Challenge Competition Awards Ceremony

What:         10th Annual AFRL Challenge Competition Awards Ceremony

Where:      Griffiss Institute, 725 Daedalian Drive, Rome, New York

When:        Friday, April 27, 2018, 12:45 pm

Who:          The AFRL Challenge Competition, Powered by AT&T, is an annual competitive STEM initiative for local high school students.

Why:          The Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI), and Griffiss Institute (GI), bring the 10th Annual Challenge Competition back to Griffiss Institute the week of April 23-27, 2018.

The Challenge Competition is an annual competitive STEM initiative for local high school students. It is held during a week when students are on a school break and its intent is to provide a more realistic view into the types of high tech problems the nation is facing today, and how engineers and researchers go about dissecting and solving these problems. The best explanation to describe the competition is “mental marathon”.

This year’s challenge problem was developed by the Cyber and Connectivity & Dissemination Divisions of ARFL/RI.

The teams will receive the challenge problem upon arrival Monday morning and have the next four days to solve it. AFRL/RI engineers and scientists will be on hand to answer questions regarding the challenge problem throughout the week.

The student participants work for an entire week to solve the challenge problem, and many find that it is the first time they have ever had a problem to solve that encompassed what they learn in every academic area in school, from Politics to English, to Math and Science.

The AFRL Challenge Competition gives many of the participants a new perspective on the field of engineering, and they get to learn a more about the work that takes place at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, and the Griffiss Institute.

The winners of the competition will be awarded paid summer internships, as well as other prizes.

Each high school team will consist of a teacher and two students. Each school selects the teacher and students who will be participating, and only one team per school is granted participation.

On Friday, April 27, 2018, 8:00 am, competition judging begins, followed by a poster session at 11:15 am, a luncheon at noon, and awards ceremony at 12:45 pm, where parents and local dignitaries will be on hand to support and congratulate the students.

The area high schools participating in the 2018 Challenge are:

  • Central Valley Academy
  • Frankfort-Schuyler Central School
  • New York Mills Union Free School
  • Rome Free Academy
  • Sauquoit Valley High School
  • Thomas R. Proctor High School
  • Westmoreland High School
  • Whitesboro Central School

The judges for this year’s competition are:

  • Kevin Hanna, Director of External Affairs, AT&T
  • James Cusack, Principal Engineer, Griffiss Institute
  • TBD

About Griffiss Institute
The Griffiss Institute (GI) was established in 2002 as an independent 501(c)(3) entity governed by a Board of Directors.  The primary role of the GI is to advocate and facilitate the co-operation of private industry, academia, and government in developing solutions to critical cybersecurity problems.  Another prime role is to build upon technologies under development at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Information Directorate to further strengthen the security of our nation’s cyberinfrastructure. Learn more at


About AFRL STEM Outreach Program
The goal of the AFRL STEM Outreach Program is to foster a new generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists who will one day discover and problem solve in the nation’s defense laboratories and other supporting U.S. companies. To achieve this goal there must be a concerted effort to connect business, government foundations, institutions of higher education, professional organizations, schools, teachers, and students. For additional information please visit the STEM initiatives page at


Most Popular