Ohio Tech Day is an annual statewide celebration of technology held on the final Friday of September. The goal of the day is to raise awareness of the role technology and innovation plays in Ohio’s economy, and to inspire our next generation of tech leaders. The Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI) hosted its first event for this celebration on Friday, September 29, 2023, through the organization of the Ohio Space Grant Consortium. Students from the Douglas MacArthur Girls Leadership Academy, a Cleveland Metropolitan School District school, were invited to attend the program at OAI to explore the education and career opportunities within Ohio’s expansive aerospace industry.
Multiple stations were set up for the students to participate in guided learning activities on the topics of aeronautics, automation, manufacturing, electrical design, and biomimicry. Some of the technologies the students experienced included a slicer software to transform digital models into 3D printing instructions, observing the autonomous function of the Boston Dynamics’ quadruped robot “Spot”, operation of hand controlled flying drones, microelectronics, virtual reality, and more.
The students learned directly from local employers about their technologies. NASA Glenn Research Center, Boston Dynamics, Spectral Energies, Great Lakes Drones, Commonwealth Career Academy and SIC Drones are local industry partners who exhibited their exciting technology with the participants. The NASA Glenn Research Center demonstrated several research projects being conducted next door to OAI, and introduced to the Future City Competition, a nonprofit program that encourages students to “design a futuristic city with innovative solutions to some of today’s most pressing issues”. The broad scope of presented activities and industry partners ensured there was an engrossing learning opportunity for every student’s interests.
The highlight of the day was a visit from NASA Astronaut Douglas Wheelock who presented an inspirational message to the students about setting ambitious goals and reaching for the stars!
About Parallax Advanced Research
Parallax Advanced Research is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit research institute that tackles global challenges through strategic partnerships with government, industry, and academia. It accelerates innovation, addresses critical global issues, and develops groundbreaking ideas with its partners. With offices in Ohio and Virginia, Parallax aims to deliver new solutions and speed them to market. In 2023, Parallax and the Ohio Aerospace Institute formed a collaborative affiliation to drive innovation and technological advancements in Ohio and for the Nation. Ohio Aerospace Institute plays a pivotal role in advancing the aerospace industry in Ohio and the nation by fostering collaborations between universities, aerospace industries, and government organizations and managing aerospace research, education, and workforce development projects. More information about both organizations can be found at the Parallax and OAI websites.