A team of students at Knob Noster (Mo.) High School designed and produced a prototype switch cover for the cockpit of the B-2 Stealth Bomber within 72 hours following an in-flight emergency in October caused when a set of switches were inadvertently moved. The local high school’s robotics team earned the call from Brig. Gen. John Nichols, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, after proving its mettle over two years in the FIRST Robotics Competition, a national program intended to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. The team worked with pilots and engineers to design and test the 3D-printed prototype in a B-2 training simulator. After perfecting the prototype, the students printed switch covers for the entire B-2 fleet and training simulators. The team was founded in 2016 through a grant from the DOD Education Activity (DODEA), Northrop Grumman and local sponsors, according to a Knob Noster Public Schools press release.
“This remarkable project demonstrates the strong partnership between Knob Noster Public Schools and Whiteman Air Force Base and underscores the opportunity and impact that DODEA grants are providing for our students,” said Superintendent Jerrod Wheeler.
Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mary-Dale Amison