DoD STEM initiatives are aimed at better preparing our children for the future. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. But STEM is more than just an acronym, it's a way to ensure America stays competitive.
LabTV videos feature compelling real-life stories by enthusiastic professionals to show students exactly why their STEM classroom studies matter. Each video is accompanied by a teacher guide designed to help educators develop a STEM lesson plan around each video.
The drop down boxes allows sorting by military service or by STEM subject area. All videos are also accessible on the LabTV YouTube Channel.
Hot Stuff! : Active Denial From Very Hot to Suddenly Not
Air Force Research Laboratory scientists at Kirtland Air Force Base are developing a non-lethal way to keep U.S. forces and interests safe. Called Active Denial, the technology emits a harmless invisible energy wave that tricks the body into feeling extreme heat.
Move away and the pain is gone, no damage done.
It is very similar to if you were to reach out and touch a hot stove, and you were to jerk your hand back almost before you even think about it, explains David Williams, a lab mathematician at New Mexico base. It's an instinct.
How High?: Pilot Safety at Serious Altitude
Adjusting the hypobaric chamber's pressure setting, Air Force Staff Sgt. Andre Scott gradually duplicates the conditions of higher altitudes. When the altimeter reads 54 mmHg, which is an altitude of 60,000 feet, a cylinder of water in the chamber boils.
At the Brooks City Air Force Research Lab in San Antonio, Texas, scientists and technicians are studying the upper atmosphere's extreme conditions, and the equipment and training needed to keep pilots safe. That includes having pilots remove their masks during simulations in the chamber.
It's a Blast!: Teenage rocket scientists compete in The Plains, Virginia
Gathering in the name of rocket science, and fun, 100 teenage teams compete for top honors in the Team American Rocketry Challenge, the world's largest contest of its kind.
Teams of middle and high school contestants are challenged to build a rocket that flies 750 feet into the sky, and then parachutes down so softly that two egg passengers, tucked inside its capsule, arrive safely back on Earth.
It's a Small World: Big Things with Small Materials
Nanomaterials scientist Joseph McDermott works at the Air Force Research Lab in Dayton, Ohio, with materials so tiny the width of a human hair is huge by comparison.
One amazing invention emerging from the lab is a flexible, cheaper and super-efficient solar panel.
"I always thought it was incredibly exciting to be doing something that no one else has done before," says McDermott. "Then to take that sort of enthusiasm (and invent) products that can actually change the world - it's a really exciting field to be working in."
Just Add Water: New Fuel from Aluminum Nanoparticles
Scientists at an Air Force Research Lab in Dayton Ohio have developed an amazing new way to harness the hydrogen energy stored in ordinary tap water.
The secret is aluminum nanoparticles. By adding water to their specially-coated nanoparticles, the scientists can produce over a thousand liters of hydrogen gas from a single liter of water. This new fuel is being designed to provide power in emergency situations -- but it could also be used in rocket engines or airplanes.
Laser Dazzlers: A Stop Sign in Any Language
A laser that stops traffic? Yes, a new light tool called "driver defeat" will help soldiers slow approaching cars from a distance so they can determine if the driver is friend or foe. It works like this: when a laser is pointed at the eye, the flashes create an "afterimage," an optical illusion that limits a person's sight for a very short time.
LEGO Champs: Robots Connect Students to an Engineering Future
The Air Force recently experienced a robot invasion -- LEGO robots, that is -- as hosts of the FIRST LEGO League US Open Championship, a competition of the best teams of kids ages 9 to 14, who design, build, and program their robots to tackle a real-world problem.
Light Antennas: Making the Connection Between Light and Electricity
Scientists at an Army research lab are creating tiny antennas inspired by a beautiful insect, the luna moth. The female moth emits an infrared light wave to attract a faraway mate, whose antenna is specially designed to receive that signal. With this model in mind, these researchers in Natick, Mass., are designing even smaller antennas -- made from carbon nanotubes -- that can capture visible light waves.
Light Stage: Amazing avatars worthy of the Army, and Hollywood
Using spherical stages enveloped with lights and cameras, scientists at the Institute for Creative Technologies bathe a subject's face in the glow of as many as 6,000 LEDs controlled by 60 computers.
Feeding the data to a master computer, the researchers are operating on the bleeding edge of animation, using physics to recreate a human being in a way that is virtually indistinguishable from the real person. The effort is opening new frontiers in training and education for the Army while dramatically influencing the world of entertainment.
Making Metal: Mixing and Matching for Strength and Versatility
Scientists and engineers at NAVSEA Carderock in Bethesda, Md., are working with the heaviest materials of all -- metals. Metals can transfer heat -- they're easy to mold and shape -- and they have conductivity, so electrons can move through them easily.
In nature metals usually occur as ores which are mined and then cleaned and refined. Metal elements can be combined to form useful materials called alloys. The scientists at NAVSEA Carderock have taken that innovation a step further, creating new ways to combine metals that improve performance and make them even more useful.