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NEWS | Dec. 1, 2022

NSWC Dahlgren Division and MITRE Corporation Design Course for 2023 High School Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

“Infiltrate hostile territory from the sea and navigate a challenging environment to recover a piece of gear that is critical to national security. Along your route you will face unexpected obstacles and will have opportunities to collect valuable intelligence. Grab the intel, snag the gear and wait to get the ‘All Clear.’ Keep your commander updated on your status and be the fastest to complete this mission. Our nation’s future depends on it.”

This is how Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Director of Academic Engagement Michael Clark describes the challenge course high school students will face after they assemble their 10-inch long, 8-inch wide and 5-inch tall robots at the 2023 High School Innovation Challenge @ Dahlgren March 31-April 1, 2023 at the University of Mary Washington Dahlgren Campus.

Sixteen teams from public, private and governor’s schools from Richmond to Stafford and throughout the Northern Neck have already registered. The deadline is Jan. 6, 2023 for signing up to participate in the competition, Operation Special Technical Object Recovery Mission (STORM).

“We have a ton of interest across the entire region,” Clark said. “We can only take 25 teams. It would be great to have 25 different schools represented at this incredible event.” A team of NSWCDD and MITRE Corporation personnel met Nov. 4 to design the route and obstacles the robot will navigate. Their drawings on a white board will be transformed into a challenge course.

“This might be the most exciting part of the challenge besides competition day,” Clark said. “I think we came up with a difficult but fun course. I’m excited to get it built!”

NSWCDD, UMW, MITRE Corporation and the Fredericksburg Regional Military Affairs Council are teaming up for the challenge. The prize purse is $5,000 which will be split amongst 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

To sign up for the challenge or for more information, contact Clark at (540) 653-9154 or