Aerospace Education Council Update: March 2024 

March 26, 2024   |   By Stephen Gourley

AFA’s education grants are on their way! From the 78 dedicated teachers who submitted applications, the top 40 have been selected to receive $599 grants to fund and advance STEM activities in their classrooms and schools. The AFA Chapters in which the awardees reside will be notified and encouraged to participate in the winners’ events and programs, whenever and however they can. Go find these motivated educators: Work with them to enhance their efforts. Promote and recognize their dedication. Show the AFA “flag” to teachers, administrators, and parents alike, and show them on the value of education to our way of life and our future through service (of any kind) to our Nation.

Buckwalter. Thompson. Mallett—well-known names of people dedicated to AFA’s mission and education efforts. They are also the names of our most prestigious awards and recognition: the Buckwalter Distinguished Sustained Education Award (DSEA) and the Thompson-Mallett National Teacher of the Year (TOY) award. Nominations for the DSEA and Chapter/State TOYs are due to AFA ( no later than April 30. Nominations for the Thompson-Mallett National TOY are due no later than June 30. Also due end of April are nominations for the Chair’s Award for Education Achievement (CAEA).

Don’t hesitate to consider deserving individuals or organizations, then work with your State and Region Presidents to submit them for recognition via the application forms linked above.

I would be remiss, once again, not to mention the impending National Finals for StellarXplorers from April 18 to 20. The event is the culmination of a year’s effort by the StellarXplorers staff of our AFA STEM Program Office, as well as the spirited competition among more than 300 high school teams. Yet, even as this season is coming to a close, registration will open for next academic year’s competition on May 1.

StellarCamp registration is also open for summer sessions, an excellent way to recruit new teams and grow this important STEM program. For more details, visit

Your AFA Education Council never rests! Check out these excellent articles from our latest AEC newsletter:

Go forth and do good things!

Stephen K. Gourley

Vice Chair of the Board, Education

Education Calendar