AFA Cancels In-Person STEM Championship Competitions

March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

AFA Cancels In-Person STEM Championship Competitions

Arlington, VA—The Air Force Association announced today it is cancelling in-person national championship competitions of two of its leading STEM programs to address concerns regarding novel coronavirus/COVID-19.

Both CyberPatriot, AFA’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, and StellarXplorers, AFA’s National High School Space Challenge, will host virtual national finals competitions in place of in-person championships this year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AFA concluded that it is impossible to move forward with these events. Travel restrictions issued by local and state governments have forced many teams to cancel their travel to the national championships. After a careful assessment of many other factors, including the health and safety of students, guests, and the community at large, and evaluating the risks associated with proceeding with in-person competitions, AFA decided to transition these events to virtual national finals.

“Our unquestionable number-one concern in AFA youth STEM programs is the safety of the students who participate in these highly successful national programs,” said AFA President “Orville” Wright. “We regret disappointing these students as well as the parents, guardians, educators, coaches, mentors, and others who worked so hard with them to earn their place as national finalists. We will soon announce plans for substitute virtual events that will allow us to identify and appropriately recognize national champions from among these outstanding finalist teams. We ask for everyone’s understanding as we work to protect the health of all concerned under these extraordinary circumstances.”

AFA’s CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers program offices are developing specific plans for the virtual national finals events. Details, including dates, will be made available to finalist teams and other interested parties as they become available.


The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force, a strong national defense, to honor and support Airmen and the Air Force Family, and to remember and respect our Air Force Heritage.


Bridget Dongu

Director, Communications