Eastside High School student Wilfredo Whitaker checks out his abilities in flying an F/A-18 in the flight simulator cockpit with Dryden simulation engineer Brian Spivey. › View Larger Image
Dryden Associate Director of Research Al Bowers found a ready audience as he presented an overview of aeronautics and current research efforts. › View Larger Image Members of robotics teams and their advisors at a half dozen junior and senior high schools in Southern California's high desert recently gained insight to technology and engineering in action during a tour of Edwards Air Force Base and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.
The tour, sponsored by the Edwards chapter of the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA), enabled the students to witness the real-world application of many of the processes and procedures that had employed in designing and building their competition robots for the 2013 spring season.
Following an overview of NASA Dryden's aeronautics research projects from Al Bowers, the center's associate director of research, the students toured Dryden's experimental fabrication machine shop and then tried their hands and feet in "flying" an F/A-18 high-performance aircraft simulator.
The Edwards ITEA chapter annually honors area robotics teams at a luncheon on the Air Force Base, and this year included the tour of several NASA Dryden facilities prior to the luncheon. They then visited several similar Air Force facilities on the base. About 35 students and their adult advisors and mentors on the tour represented robotics teams at Serrano, Odyssey / Desert, Eastside and Tehachapi high schools, Desert Science Academy and Joe Walker Middle School.
Members of the Tehachapi High School Cyber Penguins robotics team 585 watch intently as technician Jerry Cousins demonstrates the CNC tube bending machine in Dryden's experimental fabrication machine shop. › View Larger Image