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Tech Mania Has Begun!

FMA member companies are visiting local high schools to present Tech Mania, an initiative created to showcase the remarkable technology designed, built and utilized right here in the Fort Meade region, as well as discover future career pathways. Kicked off on October 31, 2022 and scheduled through mid-December, Howard County and Anne Arundel County students from Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL) Early Cybersecurity, Hammond High School, Long Reach High School, Marriotts Ridge High School, South River High School and Wilde Lake High School are learning more about how the latest technology is utilized in construction projects, monitoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay, neural network structure, encryption, cybersecurity and even an autonomous Navy vessel.

Special thanks to, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, National Security Agency, Northrop Grumman with Learning Undefeated and Whiting Turner for helping students learn about modern technology directly from those creating it!

Presentation Topics

Introduction to Neural Networks

Presentation Objectives

  1. Describe the learning process of an artificial neural network (ANN).
  2. Identify different types of nodes in an ANN.
  3. Employ an ANN to classify data points into known labels.

Activity Format

Students will be given access to a Jupyter notebook with step-by-step instructions on how to modify the structure of a neural network. During this group activity, they will be able to try different approaches to improve the performance of the neural network. Students will be able to discuss any modifications they made to the architecture of the neural network, or any ideas they might have towards the improvement of the neural network.


Resilient Design

Presentation Objectives

  1. Understand what a cyber-threat is, and how it impacts various types of targets.
  2. Understand the connectivity between systems in a modern world.
  3. Understand how design practices, in addition to cybersecurity, are needed to mitigate threats.

Activity Format

We will discuss the Leidos SeaHunter, an autonomous navy vessel.  Sea Hunter is the first of a new class of warships that use artificial intelligence in place of a crew. Students will be asked to identify areas susceptible to a cyber threat, and potential mitigations. We will review the students thoughts from the small-group activity and highlight design features we, Leidos, are actually including in our SeaHunter system.

Lockheed Martin

5 D’s of Hacking

Presentation Objectives

  1. Know the 5 D’s of cyber security.
  2. Be able to connect each D to their real life.
  3. In the end, they should be able to talk to their family and tell them about how they can stay safe online.

Activity Format

In small groups the class will be split up into the red team and blue. One team is defenders and one team is the attackers. Students pick what they would like to hack or defend and come up with ways to either hack or defend that particular system going through the 5 D’s of Cybersecurity.

National Security Agency (NSA)

Cryptanalysis 101

Presentation Objectives

Students will learn basic cryptology terminology and four classic encryption techniques plus the mathematics behind the cryptanalysis (frequency counts and cipher patterns). Students will decrypt several messages using substitution and transposition techniques.

Northrop Grumman and Learning Undefeated

Chesapeake Bay Oyster Monitoring Grand Challenge

Presentation Objectives

  1. Students will know what the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Monitoring Grand Challenge is and how Northrop Grumman’s partnership is helping to protect the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
  2. Students will be able to analyze and interpret real world data.
  3. Students will be able to make recommendations based on real-world data.

Activity Format

Students will break out into small groups to interpret real oyster monitoring data sets. While working with these data sets, students will need to come to a consensus about what the data is “saying”. They will then need to make a recommendation on next set of actions based off the data they have been given. Student groups will then share out by stating their interpretation of the data and how that interpretation informed their recommendation for next steps.

Whiting Turner

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Utilization

Presentation Objectives

  1. Understand the general use of VDC and technology in construction.
  2. Recognize the opportunity and career path of VDC in construction.
  3. Understand the importance of problem solving.

Activity Format

Activity will be a web-hosted scavenger hunt created in Kuula 360 software. WT uses this platform to create tours for our team and clients. The scavenger hunt will include multiple 360 images with icons indicating potential safety of constructability concerns for students to identify. Students will race to find all issues through each location in a scavenger hunt format. Students will be able to scan a QR code to review this tour via their phone or laptop. They can additionally follow along with others or the presenters. WT will review how our team uses this model to search for issues in coordination, similar to a scavenger hunt in itself, to find and resolve problems.