Aerospace Education Council Update: June 2023

June 21, 2023

Summer is here! Schools are letting out and families are planning their getaways. Overall, it’s a quiet time for business, yet for your AFA Education Council (AEC), many efforts continue. The nominations for National Teacher of the Year (ToY) from our state organizations are due at the end of June. The Council’s selection committee will then get to work evaluating the submissions and selecting our National ToY for 2023-24. We always look forward to announcing and introducing the selectee at our National Convention, and hearing the tremendous work yet another educator is doing to bring up the next generation.

Nancy Parra-Quinlan, the 2022-23 National ToY, has continued the strong line of extraordinary educators we have been able to recognize. Many of the past selectees have gone on to make additional and exceptional contributions at the national level, including supporting and enhancing the AFA presence at national symposia. They also have grown our network of teachers, sharing experiences and best practices. The National ToY program, as well as the chaper and state “feeders,” has been (and continues to be) one of our most sterling AFA Education programs. Thanks to Rolls Royce Aerospace for its continued support of our educators at all levels.

Summer also begins preparation of next year’s national budget. The Council is working with the National Staff to ensure the 2024 budget supports our successful programs, enhances the ones that need additional support, and prepares for any new ideas deemed worthy. I’ve asked in the past, and wish to reinforce, a request for any suggestions and ideas of how AFA can improve or expand the education strategic pillar of its mission. Please send thoughts to me at

One last request: Memorial Day is traditionally the start of the “90 Days of Summer.” It’s also the time when all the fun of vacationing, boating, hiking, and cruising the back roads of America can be interrupted by an accident. Statistically, more accidents occur in these 90 days than any other during the year. Please be safe.

As always, go forth and do good (and fun) things!

Stephen K. Gourley
Vice Chairman of the Board, Education

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Aerospace Education News

AFJROTC Robotics Competition

Largest Robotics Competition in the World Brings AFJROTC Cadets’ STEM Skills to Life

Air Force Junior ROTC robotics teams did not need AI to cogitate themselves to unprecedented success at the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation’s 2023 VEX Robotics World Championship April 25 – May 4 in Dallas.

Eleven AFJROTC units competed against 119 JROTC teams from the other services at the internationally attended event where they were joined by thousands of other young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Full story from Air University.