Taking a page from advertising strategy, DARPA is hoping to get ‘em while they’re young. The military’s mad-science wing wants various organizations to put manufacturing equipment in 1,000 high schools around the world, part of a new program called “MENTOR” — Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach. The partnership will include new prize-based challenges to inspire a new generation of defense manufacturers.
President Obama has been pushing to increase student interest in science and engineering, announcing earlier this week that he wants 1,000 new STEM teachers. The MENTOR program addresses that need, but it’s also part of DARPA’s Adaptive Vehicle Make program, which is intended to speed up development of future defense vehicles.