Sea, Air and Land Challenge is a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring high school students in science, technology, engineering, and math. Based in Freeport, Pennsylvania, this annual program is committed to showcasing exciting careers and technical challenges available to high school students with Special Operations Forces. This program is passionate about providing students with knowledge of future military careers, as both personnel and civilian.
Founded in 2012 by Dr. William Kiser, the first year challenge brought over 70 high school students and 22 volunteers together and was funded by the Pittsburgh based SPROUT fund. The results of the program were overwhelmingly positive in that 100% of the students involved, thought the program helped them better understand the engineering process and, 92% said they would recommend this program to other students. The program continues to grow each year with funding from the Office of Naval Research.
Dr. Kiser’s passion and determination to engage young adults to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is admirable. As a research scientist, he believes exposing young minds to science, technology, engineering and math will dynamically change the world and ensure the continued superiority of the United States military.
The “Challenge” name was decided through brainstorming sessions and derived from the pilot program which included participation with retired Navy SEALs. These individuals garner a tremendous amount of public respect and receive considerable attention for their bravery and success in the war on terror. They are consummate professionals whose technical and communication skills make a great influence and their deep understanding of the importance of technology to the war fighter is a key to the success of the program. The name meshes perfectly with the definition of challenge:
“a call to take part in a contest”
“an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof”