Dayton, Ohio – On September 30, 2022, Parallax Advanced Research hosted OhioX Tech Day – a STEM event – for 180 high school students from six Dayton school districts. The event was hosted in collaboration with the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), Launch Dayton, and Montgomery County Educational Service Center. The event was sponsored by the Entrepreneurs’ Center, The Dayton Regional STEM Center, and the Dayton Development Coalition. The event took place at the downtown Dayton Arcade and celebrated the people, companies, and ideas that make Ohio technology possible, and it inspired Ohio high school students who are the next generation of leaders in technology and innovation.
Mr. Kellery Beason, career technology teacher at Ponitz Career Technology Center shared why it’s important to involve Dayton Public School in these events. He said, “It’s important to teach students about the STEM activities that go on in the city of Dayton and to keep them totally engaged with the process of STEM. It’s also important to let them know about all the opportunities that we have in the city of Dayton, like working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in research and development and about all the companies, engineers, and firms that we have in this area.”
The day started with a tour of The Hub at The Arcade, which included excursions through the classroom spaces, second floor event square, and The Hub office space.
Scott Koorndyk, President of the Entrepreneurs' Center, kicked off the event in the Rotunda and introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Darrell Lochtefeld, VP and division manager of Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation at Parallax Advanced Research. Dr. Lochtefeld spoke about his early days in the STEM field and relayed advice for navigating the career field.
“Ohio Tech Day enables the kids to get hands on with STEM. They get the chance to understand what their career might look like. It’s one thing to say ‘science, technology, and mathematics are interesting,’ it’s another thing to dig in and really look at what’s going on in the career field,” said Dr. Lochtefeld.
Grace Silverberg, senior student at the University of Dayton, and Sophie Mills, PhD student at The Ohio State University, gave advice about pursuing STEM in academia, from co-ops to choosing majors, to identifying the multiple career paths to which STEM education could lead.
Silverberg said, “I am working towards a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Dayton, and, throughout my journey, I have realized that learning how to be an engineer is more about developing the mindset for how to solve the problem rather than having all the correct answers on an exam. Understanding what you are passionate about will help you find joy in solving problems for that community and result in a more rewarding career. Always find joy in what you do by finding the industry that will help foster that passion for innovation. There are so many ways to take your STEM degree and find that path that excites you to get up each morning.”
Following the speaker engagement, the students had the opportunity to meet with 11 Ohio tech organizations to enjoy hands on activities, such as flight simulators, virtual reality, innovation style tests, and more. These organizations include
- Exciting Technology LLC
- BETA TECHNOLOGIES
- University of Dayton Research Institute
- University of Dayton School of Engineering
- Mile Two
- Wright State University
- Parallax Advanced Research Innovation & Talent Management division
- Air Force Research Laboratory GRILL
- The Ohio National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing
- Sinclair National UAS Center
- Dayton Children's Hospital
Anna Hecht, electrical engineer, Exciting Technology shared why their company participated in Ohio Tech Day, “We really love and value teaching this type of technology to the next generation. Being able to speak with high school students is very interesting and to also be able to talk about the work that we really love. We’re excited to talk about lidar systems and how they see them in their everyday lives.”
Parallax Advanced Research is grateful for its membership and collaborative relationship with OhioX and the local Dayton ecosystem. We understand that STEM education is vital to the health of our nation and local economy, and we will continue to support the future of STEM education throughout Ohio.
About Parallax Advanced ResearchParallax is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that tackles global challenges by accelerating innovation and developing technology and solutions through strategic partnerships with government, industry and academia across Ohio and the Nation. Together with academia, Parallax accelerates innovation that leads to new breakthroughs. Together with government, Parallax tackles critical global challenges and delivers new solutions. Together with industry, Parallax develops groundbreaking ideas and speeds them to market.