Working with Students to Solve Real World Problems

The Aeronautical Center Capstone Program is a community outreach effort in support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines (STEM). Students may participate in an end-of-semester project (i.e., Capstone Project), typically during their final semester. The MMAC Capstone Program is an opportunity for MMAC organizations to solve problems that might otherwise go unresolved due to a shortage of labor and/or higher priority issues.

Organizations simply submit approved STEM related projects through the AMC-3 office, and if selected, participating universities will assign your project to a student group to provide a solution. This benefits the FAA by augmenting their capabilities at no cost, while providing unique career opportunities for the student. Students benefit by gaining exposure to real life problems and by developing skills in problem definition, data analysis, identification of solution alternatives, and oral/written communication. It’s a win-win situation. Participation means you can take great pride in the fact that your organization has provided a valuable learning opportunity and mentoring experience to STEM students at the beginning of their careers.

Student oversight and mentorship is provided by both a university faculty advisor and an FAA supervisor/SME. The nature of the project could be a business process, a manufacturing process, a healthcare process, a product development process, or a logistical process. Student teams might organize data and use analytics to: uncover opportunities for improvement, gather data and develop an economic justification, apply statistical and optimization methods to redesign a process, or develop a decision-support system.

Instructor and students in a college classroom setting

Students can also assist with defining requirements for certain projects. Other examples of STEM areas of discipline include: Business Administration’s MIS Department, Computer Science, Telecommunications, Physics/Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Research and Statistics, Science/Biology/Medical, Electronics and Communications, Automation Engineering, Physical Environment Engineering, Environmental Control Technologies, and Drafting & Design.

Currently, there are three universities collaborating with the Aeronautical Center Capstone program (University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Central Oklahoma).

If you or your organization have any project ideas for a team of young, enthusiastic, and intelligent students to tackle, please contact Edward Drake (405)954-7327. Projects can be submitted anytime throughout the year.

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