‘Sticky McStickface’ is the face of innovation at Edwards AFB

After a base-wide vote at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the 412th Test Wing’s Innovation Team, SparkED, unveiled their new mascot.

The new mascot is Sticky McStickface, and was announced at the start of the base-wide innovation campaign that runs June 1-17, 2022.

Team Edwards members voted Sticky McStickface, submitted by Dan Stevenson, 775th Test Squadron, as the winner and will replace the outgoing Eddie the Dragon, who recently PCS’ed.

“For this entry I felt simple was best because innovation can be anything large or small,” Stevenson said. “In all honesty, I do believe Sticky McStickface embodies innovation at the 412th Test Wing. They can represent anyone, they’re awkward, they’re silly, they’re smart, there isn’t a lot of meat on their bones, but they have promise. They have the entire 412th Test Wing standing behind them, waiting for whatever comes next.”

SparkED is the 412th Test Wing’s Innovation Ecosystem, a community of Airman problem-solvers from around Edwards AFB. They encompass, XPOI, a new three-member Innovation and Process Improvement Department, A six-member Subject Matter Expert Panel, Group Leads in every organization, and over 200 volunteers.

SparkED resources rapid project start-ups for Airman Innovation initiatives and sponsors culture change engagement events. They are responsible for base-wide innovation campaigns, Data Hackathons, TEDxEdwardsAFB, Innovation Education/Workshops and local training courses in their SparkED Lab Makerspace and Area 37 Augmented/Virtual Reality Lab. They are the AFWERX officially-recognized Spark Cell for Edwards AFB.

The base-wide Innovation campaign ends June 17, with a two-day extension built in, and with voting to take place June 22-30. It is hosted on the G.A.I.N. (Guardians and Airmen Innovation Network) platform here: https://gain.apps.dso.mil/usaf/412twsparked2022. The new platform features the ability for idea owners to submit ideas, comment on others, vote for their favorites, and also a new feature; creating or joining teams with others interested with helping on an idea.

Finalists will be announced on July 8, and will work with the SparkED team to help prepare their pitch for the competition At the conclusion of the campaign, top ideas will be selected to compete in the 412th TW SparkED Tank Aug. 3. Contestants will pitch their ideas to a panel of experts much like the popular TV show “Shark Tank.” Judges from across the base that are subject matter experts in the respective categories will be asked to pick the top winners for execution.

All other ideas will be submitted for process improvement facilitations, AFMC or AFWERX’s Spark Tank, an “AFMC We Need” request, an AFWERX Momentum Fund request, an applicable SBIR, given a Project Mercury or Working Team to help support their ideas (built into the platform), or another applicable solution.

“The SparkED team promises to answer every single idea owner whether or not they are selected as a finalist for the SparkED Tank competition,” said Britney Reed, 412th Test Wing Chief Innovation Officer. “We care about the Airman as much as the idea/problem they are trying to solve. We highly encourage senior leaders to show their commitment by placing this campaign promo of our new mascot as your profile photo on MS Teams during the June campaign as a ‘commitment to listen to Airman’ and we ask that they encourage their personnel to participate in making Edwards AFB a culture of innovation.”

SparkED is looking for ideas that fit into the following categories:
* Culture Change Initiative: Engagement events, campaign topics, or ideas for culture change.
* Quality of Life: Improves or maintains quality of life.
* Workplace Efficiency: Inefficiencies, annoyances, or ineffective processes in the workplace.
* New Test Capability/Capacity: New test capability or significantly increases test capacity.
* Adversary Disruptor: Looking into the future to fight a near peer adversary.

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