Science - Technology - Engineering - Mathematics
AEDC STEM Center (Fox's Den)
Arnold Engineering Development Complex's STEM Center is designed to provide an exciting and interactive learning environment for teachers and students K-12. The mission is to inspire and develop student interest in STEM careers, especially in communities that surround military bases, laboratories, and other Department of Defense facilities.
AEDC strives to match hands-on activities with the school's curriculum; making learning fun for teachers and students. AEDC speakers, with a wide variety of expertise and life experiences, may be provided to assist classes with a specific program of study.
Scientist, engineers and other professionals may be available to set up demonstrations at regional schools. The STEM center is equipped with hands-on demonstrations ranging from flight dynamics and robotics, to constellations and moon colonies.
The AEDC STEM Discovery Dome is a 16' diameter by 10' high portable facility capable of hosting up to 35 students and their teacher. It provides a full planetarium experience as well as STEM surround sound/videos tailored to the grade level of the students.
Static and portable wind tunnels are available to help students understand the dynamics of flight. The wind tunnels are equipped with fog solutions for viewing airflows, model airplane, model car, rotating cylinder and airfoil section. Speeds up to 40 mph may be achieved in the static wind tunnel. Students are able to control an objects angle of attack, rotation speed or airflow speed.
The center's rocket launchers give students experience with using the engineering process, building rockets, testing rockets and learning physics principles.
Team America Rocketry Challenge
Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the Aerospace Industries Association's signature program and the only aerospace-specific national STEM competition, TARC has reached over 60,000 students in the past decade and involved over 4,000 students in 48 states.
An extra-curricular hands-on project-based learning program, the TARC competition is modeled around the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing processes. All students participate in a team of 3-10 students to design, build, and fly a rocket. Like aerospace companies work within specific design parameters, every year the challenge requires teams to achieve the same basic mission-oriented goals of hitting a precise altitude, landing within a specific flight time window, and returning a raw egg ("the astronaut") without cracking. AEDC STEM sponsors 7 TARC teams.
ARIES is a physical science curriculum for students in grades 5-8 that employs 18 inquiry-centered, hands-on lessons called "explorations" that teach motion and forces. The curriculum draws upon students' curiosity to explore phenomena, allowing for a discovery-based learning process. Group-centered lab work is designed to help students build an understanding of inertia, friction, gravity, speed, and acceleration. Students examine their prior ideas about the phenomena, formulate questions, build and use an apparatus to observe natural phenomena, make predictions, and gather data through structured experiments. Exploring Motion and Forces is part of the ARIES sequence of eight physical science units. The ARIES sequences can be used together for an overall curriculum or independently. The AEDC STEM Lending Library has checked out 18 ARIES Exploring Motion and Forces Kits to area schools and home school groups.
STEM K-12 Lending Library
The following items are available for check out:
Discovery Dome (Planetarium and STEM films)
ARIES Exploring Motion and Forces Lesson Kits
LEGO® Education WeDo Robotics Construction Set
FIRST Jr. Lego League
Focused on building an interest in science and engineering in children ages 6-9, Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) is a hands-on program designed to capture young children's inherent curiosity and direct it toward discovering the possibilities of improving the world around them. Just like FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®), this program features a real-world challenge, to be solved by research, critical thinking and imagination. Guided by adult coaches and the Jr.FLL Core Values, students work with LEGO elements and moving parts to build ideas and concepts and present them for review.
FTC is designed for those in Grades 7-12 who want to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
AEDC STEM helps sponsor 4 FIRST Tech Challenge Teams
The VEX Robotics Competition a middle and high school robotics program with more than 4,800 teams from 20 countries playing in over 300 tournaments worldwide. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, aim to build the most innovative robots possible and work together to obtain the most points possible. In addition to just having a great time and building amazing robots, through their participation in the VEX Robotic Competition and their work within their team, students will learn many academic and life skills.
AEDC STEM helps sponsor one VEX Robotics Competition Team
Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competition
AEDC STEM Program and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sponsor Reach for the Stars National Rocket Competitions where students build and launch model rockets as part of a national spot landing contest. Each participant receives a certificate with artwork by Alan Bean, astronaut and moonwalker from Apollo 12. The winners from each state earn the right to compete for the national title at the US Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Two competitions with 25 students total were held in FY14 and one of our local winners also won for the state of TN!
Our FY15 winner was one of four national winners! http://www.therocketman.net/index.html
MATHCOUNTS is a national enrichment, club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory. The program heightens student interest in mathematics by making math achievement challenging and exciting. At the beginning of each school year, the MATHCOUNTS Foundation provides a complimentary copy of the MATHCOUNTS School Handbook to every middle school across the country. Teachers and volunteers use the handbook and activities to coach student Mathletes, as part of in-class instruction or as an extracurricular activity. www.mathcounts.org
AEDC STEM sponsors 5 MATHCOUNTS teams.
FIRST LEGO League
The FIRST LEGO League is a partnership between FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and The LEGO Group who created a powerful program that helps young people discover the fun in science and technology while building self-confidence, knowledge, and valuable employment and life skills. The league is a robotics program developed for youth ages 9 to 16. The work is programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a thematic playing surface, creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project.
CyberPatriot is the premiere national high school cyber defense competition created to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. CyberPatriot V is open to all high schools, Civil Air Patrol Units, JROTC Units, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Units and accredited home school programs around the country.
During competitions students are provided one to three virtual machines. The machines contain several vulnerabilities that students must identify and defend against. CyberPatriot was established by the Air Force Association. The Northrop Grumman Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for CyberPatriot V. CyberPatriot's founding partners are SAIC and CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
The educational tour programs at Arnold Engineering Development Complex are designed to SPARK the interest of students, and keep student's MINDS IN MOTION.
The programs' mission is to increase the level of outreach to educators and students and help motivate today's students to become tomorrow's engineers and scientists.
Students will learn about the work AEDC does and its importance to America's air and space superiority. Students also have the opportunity to interact with members of the Air Force and other complex employees and ask specific questions about flight, educational requirements and military life. The tours also provide the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and tour different testing facilities on base.
For more information or to schedule a tour date, please contact the ATA Public Affairs office at (931)454-5655. Educational Tour Program
LEGO® Education WeDo Robotics Construction Set
The LEGO® Education WeDo Robotics Construction Set is an easy-to-use set that introduces young students to robotics when combined with the LEGO Education WeDo Robotics Software. Students will be able to build LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors; program their models; and explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as language and literacy. The construction set comes with printed building instructions for 12 models and contains more than 150 elements including a motor, tilt sensor, motion sensor, and LEGO USB Hub.
STEM Aviation Program
Utilizing the award winning Fly to Learn software, we offer a 10 lesson curriculum for graded 6-9 that teaches STEM topics using an aviation theme. Students fly virtual aircraft to study science concepts such as energy/forces and modify existing aircraft designs to improve aircraft performance and learn the engineering process. Students use math and graphs to predict performance and make informed design decision. Upon course completion, students are eligible for an actual flight in a glider with an instructor pilot.
Students are required to design a human powered exploration rover to be completely built and driven by two of their team members. The NASA Rover Challenge course winds around rockets and other space vehicles including a Saturn moon rocket, an engineering test unit of the space shuttle with its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters, and a model of the Lunar Excursion Module, or LEM. The total length of the course is about seven-tenths of one mile. It is strewn with miscellaneous extraterrestrial surface like obstacles distributed randomly over the course. One of the interesting terrains on the course is a crater area in which the life-size replica of the LEM is located.
BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) is a middle and high school robotics competition whose mission is to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as inspire them to pursue careers in these fields. Through participation in our project-based STEM program, students learn to analyze and solve problems utilizing the Engineering Design Process, which helps them develop technological literacy skills. It is these skills that industry seeks
in its workforce. Each fall, over 850 middle and high schools and over 18,000 students participate in the competition.
AEDC STEM Summer Camp AEDC sponsors a STEM summer camp for 5th-8th graders where they plan, design, build and test several hands on projects to include rockets. This is a camp where they are an active part of the learning process, i.e., they will learn by doing. The camp also stresses being able to work as part of a team. The entire group becomes a family and the students work and build projects in small and large groups. The camp is conducted by the award-winning Professor Billy Hix who has worked at NASA and Motlow College. He was the Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2012.
Story Time From Space
Story Time From Space Using the award-winning Max the Dog books flown to the International Space Station (ISS) in January 2014 aboard the Cygnus CRS Orb-1, the AEDC STEM program sends volunteers to schools to hold "Story Time from Space". These engaging books contain interesting technical details scalable to all student levels and chronicles the journeys of Max the Dog who travels to the ISS, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter.
Inside Arnold AFB
Air Force STEM Web Site
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AEDC has test facilities ranging from large wind tunnels and altitude jet and rocket test cells to space chambers, ballistic ranges, arc heaters (to simulate the high temperature generated reentering the Earth's atmosphere) to small research test cells. The center's unique test facilities simulate flight from sea level to space and from subsonic to hypersonic speeds approaching Mach 20.