On August 23rd TechMGM kicked off innovatAFITC 2019 with nearly 100 participants from local high, middle school and college students, airmen and industry IT professionals.  This event continues to be the premiere collaboration competition for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and Cybersecurity encouraging and promoting a community culture of cyber awareness and collaboration between Government, industry and academia, bringing together community leaders, cyber experts and a cadre of  competitors from local schools to witness and participate in real‐world IT, cyber operations, software development and design methods.  We increased our focus this year on Training and Workforce Development, Collaborating with tools between public and private organizations, and Encouraging Innovation on Smart City initiatives.  Hyundai, Alabama Power Company, the Auburn Cyber Research Institute and the City of Montgomery all assisted with this year’s challenges for participants.

Student groups teamed with airmen and industry professionals to solve problems using a Raspberry Pi or a Microsoft DevKit in the areas of logistics, digital services, education or cybersecurity.  Eleven teams competed with 6 teams selecting the education challenge.  At the conclusion of the weekend, each team pitched their solution to a diverse panel of judges.  The overall winner was the AUMelettes comprised of students from Auburn University of Montgomery Ms. Kayla Luther, Mr Adam Rodriguez  and Mr Riley Taylor and airmen from the PEO BES at Gunter Annex TSgt Rebecca Hogue and A1C David Whyte.

Participants ranged from a middle school student to local area private and public high school students, college students from across the region, industry and local airmen.  The top high school and top college teams were also recognized, Auburn University at Montgomery and Lanier High School.   This event is great example of how Montgomery is tackling workforce development, encouraging collaboration and becoming more innovative!