Gazette News Report
BELLBROOK — Seventh graders in Cathy St. Pierre’s science classes at Bellbrook Middle School are deep into their scientific investigations as they work on their science fair projects.
As part of their work, the students heard a presentation from Dr. Bill Rowell from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, who spoke with them about his career that puts the scientific method to practice each day. He explained that his work involves helping the Department of Defense acquisition program test teams use scientific test and analysis techniques to perform tests and evaluations for major DoD systems to work more effectively and efficiently. In addition, he is involved in doing research into tests and evaluations of cybersecurity requirements for weapon systems.
Students had many questions and were interested to learn how they design tests and evaluate the results. The large aircraft, such as Air Force One, could be vulnerable to shoulder-fired, surface-to air-missiles, and Rowell explained how they set up the computer-simulated tests to evaluate and protect against these potential threats.
Student comments included: “I like all your experiences, how many jobs, and all the places you went to get there;” “You inspired me to join the military;” and “I am inspired by how much work you do to achieve your dreams. It takes a while to get the job done.”
Rowell’s current job is to support the Center of Excellence Office of the Secretary of Defense. He helps acquisition programs do testing, and he explained the nature of some of the testing. In addition, he helped students understand hacking, what it is, that it is illegal without permission, and identified the different kinds of hackers as offensive/malicious or defensive/ethical, and offensive/defensive, which involves hacking offensively without permission, but to help defend. He also explained the “Script Kiddies” who lack understanding of the tools.
Students watched videos of people hacking a Jeep and a drone.
One commented, “I might become a white hat (defensive/ethical type of hacker) and become just like you when I grow up.”
The Department of Homeland Security has overall responsibility to protect against these threats, and Rowell explained how Cyberspace as a Warfighting Domain has developed. “Grizzly Steppe” tactics and techniques of Russia were explained with particular relevance to current political events.
Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.