FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Columbus, Ohio, USA
The PAST Innovation Lab (PIL) will partner with the Wright-Patterson Educational Outreach Office which is a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory over the next five years providing training, volunteer coordination, programming, logistics, and financial support to expand and grow participation in robotics programs throughout West Virginia, Ohio, and Western & Central Pennsylvania. The partnership between PIL and WPAFB EO will expand access to students including under-represented and high needs groups. WPAFB’s Daniel J. Andrews, K-12 STEM Coordinator, and PIL’s Christopher L. Brandon, Special Project Manager, will serve as Co-Program managers for the partnership.
Through WPAFB EO’s support and partnership with PIL, the goal is to extend the reach of FIRST robotics programs as a platform for students to learn through applied Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and transdisciplinary problem-based learning.
The PAST Innovation Lab is a prototyping facility, located on Kinnear Road alongside the Ohio State University’s technology corridor. The organization partners with K12 schools, post-secondary institutions, as well as industry and community partners. It provides a platform where new and innovative educational ideas can be imagined, created and tested. The PAST Innovation Lab programs include immersive Learning Labs for third and fourth year high schools students alongside after and out of school informal bridge programs that together accelerates STEM experiences for both students and teachers.
For 15 years, PAST Foundation has been a leader in designing STEM education for schools across the nation, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students.
In 2014, PAST was recognized at CGI America by former President Bill Clinton for their outstanding work, and again in 2015 for their achievements in improving education in rural America.
PAST professional development and online courses offer teachers exciting ways to bring problem-based learning to their classrooms. Bridge programs take STEM education out of the classroom for students and teachers. Our Knowledge Capture division supports all PAST endeavors with strong evidence based research. Together we holistically link learning to life.
PAST Innovation Lab is a part of PAST Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization. The Innovation Lab is an educational prototyping facility where community, industry and education come together to create the educational programs of tomorrow, today.
The Educational Outreach Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, was created in 1998. WPAFB EO’s mission is to Attract, inspire, and develop student awareness and excitement in all fields of STEM, aviation, and aerospace in order to develop our nation’s future scientific and technical workforce to meet future defense technological challenges. Coordinated by the EO office and supported by EO staff and volunteers, WPAFB EO’s programs have impacted over 450,000 students since January 1999.
WPAFB EO maintains and promotes educational partnerships with FIRST, local school districts, National Museum of the United States Air Force, Junior Achievement, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Wright State University, Dayton Regional STEM Center, and many others.
Current WPAFB EO programs include FIRST Robotics, Department of Defense STARBASE, Wizards of Wright, Scanning Electron Microscope Programs, Department of Defense STARBASE 2.0, Job Shadow Day at WPAFB, Science Fair Support, Teacher Workshops, and support for many community events.
As the Affiliate Partner to FIRST for both FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® LEGO® League Jr., WPAFB EO manages the tournament structure for the state, recruits and trains volunteers at every level, provides workshops for teams and coaches, and , in partnership with Wright State University, runs the Ohio FIRST® LEGO® League Championship Tournament every February at the Ervin J. Nutter Center. FIRST® LEGO® League in Ohio has grown from twenty teams and over 300 students/mentors in 2001 to over 488 teams and over 8,000 students/mentors across Ohio in 2015-16. In 2012, WPAFB EO became the Ohio Affiliate Partner for FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. Since then, the program has grown to over 125 teams and fifteen Expos throughout the state. In conjunction with the Ohio FIRST® LEGO® League Championship, WPAFB EO runs a twenty team FIRST® LEGO® League Jr. Expo.
WPAFB EO is looking forward to partnering with The PAST Foundation to provide similar support to FIRST® Robotics Competition teams and mentors in Ohio.