Summer Challenge

Walk Run Bike Challenge_H

TTransAmericaCycle for STEMhe Children’s Science Center has teamed up with AFCEA NOVA (Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association) for a Walk, Run, Bike Challenge. Three military veterans from AFCEA NOVA will bicycle across the United States while raising money to donate to the Children’s Science Center.  The trip will take three months and cover 4,200 miles.

 The Ride:

AFCEA mapThe riders start in Astoria, Oregon on August 1 and will end their trip in Yorktown, Virginia on October 23.  In the process they will cross 10 states (Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia), multiple mountain ranges (including both the Rockies and Appalachian Mountains), and numerous rivers (including Columbia, Snake, Mississippi and Ohio). They will also see diverse ecosystems, such as desert, prairie, and coastal.  See a more detailed map of the rider’s route here!

Your Challenge:

Children and their families are invited to participate in the Walk, Run, Bike Challenge! Track your daily activity and try to match the distance of the three riders biking across America.  In the process, we’ll explore the science related to exercise and nutrition.

Accept the Challenge:

Register to accept the challenge! Track your physical activity and together we will see if we can travel as many miles or as long as the bicyclists do on their cross-country ride. It’s easy and fun to participate:

  1. Register to participate.
  2. Be active! What physical activity will you do? Walk, run, bike, dance, play soccer, rollerblade, swim or something else?
  3. Track your distance. Convert your activity into miles
  4. Track the time you spend doing your activities.
  5. Post your progress in our online form
  6. Post your pictures on our social sites using the hashtag #childsci
  7. Plan to attend our Summer of Science Celebration on July 24, 1:00 – 4:00 pm in the Fair Oaks Mall Grand Court. Come meet one of our celebrity cyclists before his big ride which begins on August 1. Plus, enjoy the hands-on activities at this free, family event celebrating our first birthday!

The Walk, Run, Bike Challenge runs through October 23.

All participants of the Walk, Run, Bike Challenge are welcome to a special surprise! Stop by the Guest Services Desk at the Lab anytime to pick up your surprise, while supplies last.

Meet the Riders:

Al Mink

Al Mink grew up in Florida, using his bike as his primary transportation. He has completed multiple century rides (100-mile rides), and has completed numerous other rides as part of the Air Force Cycling Team or AFCEA Cycle for STEM teams. Al was educated at MIT (undergraduate), Carnegie-Mellon (masters), and George Mason (PhD in Cloud Information Technology). He is an honor graduate from several military colleges and attended the Hoover Institution at Stanford University for his National Security Fellowship. He’s a decorated combat veteran and also awarded a medal for a software system he developed that the USAF used to manage their $100B five-year financial plan. He’s also been recognized in industry and associations, to include receiving AFCEA’s highest award in 2014.

Tim Hoffman

Tim Hoffman has been an avid cyclist all his life. He traveled over 6,000 miles on his bike last year. Tim sees traveling the country by bike as a great way to see the country on a local level and experience the spectacular scenery.  Tim graduated from West Point with a bachelor of science degree and holds master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts (Philosophy) and the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (Theater Operations). He is also a 1994 graduate of the Army War College. In 2000 he completed a fellowship at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Most significant among his over 20 awards and decorations are the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal and the DoD Medal for Distinguished Civil Service.

Paul Scott  is a passionate bicyclist and supporter of STEM.  Paul was thrilled to be invited to ride the TransAmerica with Al and Tim, if a little daunted by the size of the challenge, he is very excited at the prospect of visiting places and seeing sights he’s only ever seen on TV, on his first ever visit to the USA. Paul studied Telecommunications at College in York, and later specialized in Advanced Electronic Switching Systems. Paul is enthusiastic about STEM personally and is humbled by the opportunity, through this TransAmerica bicycle ride, to bring STEM education to the youth in the USA.