NextGen: Milestone C: Helping Students Embrace STEM 

Student competition profile: Robotics & Automated Systems competition

Student competition profile: Robotics & Automated Systems competition

Milestone C created an intuitive educational platform. Image courtesy of Milestone C.

Milestone C offers educational services designed for students at the middle and high school levels. The focus is on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as well as career and technical education, including subject matter such as robotics, engineering, aviation and coding. 

The Robotics & Automated Systems competition is a software & engineering program developed by Fortune 500 engineers for forward-thinking middle and high schools. The program features state-of-the-art bio-inspired robots and the complete workflow of a real-world engineering program through the framework of a technical design project.

Students practice and become competent in not only technical skills, but also 21st-century foundational skills necessary in any career: critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration & leadership, creativity, and effective communication.

David Conelias is the CEO of Milestone C, which sponsors student engineering design competitions.

Digital Engineering: Can you provide an overview of the competition? 

David Conelias: The program we offer brings real-world design into the classroom. The students are on teams of two to three people, gain needed skills in engineering design, mechanical/electrical assembly, app development, 3D modeling along with teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving, and then bring these skills together to fix a robotic arm that NASA needs help with. 

Milestone C's educational platform to deliver state-of-the-art STEM programs. Image courtesy of Milestone C.

DE: Who will be participating? 

Conelias: Middle and high school students in public, private, charter and magnet schools. 

DE: How many participants have you had or are you expecting? Any demographics of participants? 

Conelias: Upwards of 40 classes, typically 15 to 25 students. Though this year many did not get to the culmination unit as school days were limited or interrupted. 

DE: Can you tell us about some of the designs? 

Conelias: The students are provided parts of the incomplete project that was stopped when a NASA supplier shut down. NASA is asking the students to pick up the pieces and complete the effort. They must read, evaluate and understand the requirements, the existing 3D model, existing software and other relevant info. This amounts to about 80% of the work, and they need to find out what is missing and wrong in the model and software, correct those issues and finish the work. 

DE: How does Milestone C help schools implement STEM programs?

Conelias: Schools need help implementing new programs—our team knows this! Our collective expertise includes teacher training, implementation and in-action support, IT department support and guidance, as well as program differentiation advice for curriculum directors. Milestone C is built around school success because we understand and anticipate the need for support in these areas.

DE: What does Milestone C have in the works for 2022?

Conelias: There is sponsored implementation through STEMwave, a movement changing STEM education with innovative STEM programs and cutting-edge technologies for middle and high schools. With STEMwave, students gain an understanding of crucial technologies, and their potential to influence and change the world into something better. At the core is the AI-Driven Communication (AIC) program that features students developing an AI solution for their school. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly prevalent in our lives. Whether in the form of algorithms, chatbots, data sciences or machine learning, Industry 4.0 has AI embedded everywhere. AIC introduces students to this new-age technology through the world of chatbots and data sciences.

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Jim Romeo

Jim Romeo is a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, VA. Send e-mail about this article to [email protected].

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