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AETC announces Spark Tank Challenge winners

  • Published
  • By Air Education & Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO- RANDOLPH, Texas, -- Three total force Airmen were selected to represent Air Education and Training Command for advancing to the quarterfinals for the 2022 AFWERX Spark Tank Challenge.  

Spark Tank is an annual event where Airmen pitch innovative ideas to top Air Force leaders and a panel of industry experts.

The ideas that were selected winners are Developing Airmen With Games (DAWG) and PME OutLOUD!. DAWG was created by Matthew Correia, Eaker Center for Leadership Development – Civilian Leadership Development School chief of research integration, and PME OutLOUD!, which is a tag team effort by Maj. Melissa Holt, 59th Dental Squadron clinical flight commander, and Capt. Heather Brown, 59th Medical Logistics and Readiness Squadron medical readiness flight commander.

“Innovation programs like Spark Tank provide an avenue to bring ideas to the attention of our leaders,” said Holt. “There are innovators in all of us, and the ideas and creativity of our force are true strengths. As Gen. Brown, chief of staff of the Air Force, has said, ‘We must move with purpose - we must Accelerate Change or Lose...’”

DAWG is the application sound and proven educational practices with game-based learning. It addresses the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Action Order A: Airmen, , transforming the way we deliberately professionally grow our Airmen and Guardians, by building better Airmen and Guardians on Air Force foundational competencies and core values.

“By using DAWG, Airmen will be able to identify and develop foundational competencies that are instrumental to personal and professional development, in a fun way,” said Correia. “DAWG will develop Airmen we need for the 21st century and prepare Airmen for future employment opportunities after Air Force service.”

PME OutLOUD! are audio-enabled professional military education lessons and chapters narrated and recorded onto a streaming platform, such as a podcast or audiobook. This will enable anyone to listen to them from their device, for free, with no common access card required.

“Professional military education does not need to just be a box that we check to move forward in our careers,” said Holt. “It can have a design that inspires all of us. It can be what we look back on and say ‘that changed me.’ Our vision is a living documentary of our force where human narration provides connection, enjoyment and investment in the material. We truly believe that PME OutLOUD! is the future of military education.”

The two teams will compete at the quarterfinals, in front of a judging panel comprised of AFWERX and Secretary of the Air Force Management members, who will select the best ideas, to compile a final slate of semifinalists for presentations to the semifinals challenge judges.

Winners at the semifinals move on to the final round of competition, which is scheduled during the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, in March 2022.

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