Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders with Aerospace Education and STEM

AFA believes in the power that students hold in securing our nation’s future. Yet, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). To equip our students with the knowledge and skills required for future innovation, we must increase the number of students and teachers in STEM fields.

AFA is part of the nationwide initiative to improve STEM learning—including aerospace education—to better prepare students for the competitive global economy and increase their chances of becoming future leaders who solve our nation’s toughest challenges.

We support aerospace education and STEM through awards, grants, scholarships, professional development opportunities, and programs.

AFA Aerospace Education Programs

Scholarships

We want to see our members aim high in their educational journeys. Financial assistance and support is available for all Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve service members, their dependents, Air Force spouses, cadets, and civilians. Explore the opportunities made possible by the generosity of our donors and sponsors, and apply for a scholarship today!

Grants

AFA knows that there are many teachers and instructors with big dreams on how to educate their classes and units. Unfortunately, sometimes a lack of resources prevents those dreams from becoming a reality. AFA is proud to offer grants to educators, Civil Air Patrol units, and JROTC units to advance aerospace education in the classroom.

Teacher of the Year Program

Teachers do so much more than educate. They inspire, motivate, and nurture. AFA's unique Teacher of the Year Program rewards special teachers who help students see STEM education as an exciting adventure.

Pitsenbarger Awards

AFA salutes enlisted Airmen graduating from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) with plans to pursue a bachelor's degree. At CCAF graduation ceremonies each spring and fall, Pitsenbarger Awards are given out to selected top Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve graduates.

AFA Outstanding Cadet of the Year Program

AFA supports AFROTC, AFJROTC, and Civil Air Patrol cadets as they develop into responsible citizens and the next generation of aerospace leaders. We are proud to provide an AFA Outstanding Cadet of the Year medal to one cadet in each detachment, squadron, or unit. AFA is proud to support these future leaders with an award celebrating their remarkable accomplishments.

Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings Support

AFA is proud to provide more than $30,000 annually in support of Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings. All cadets and students are also AFA members and many have close connections with their local AFA chapters.

Arnold Air Society is a professional, honorary service organization of ROTC cadets advocating the support of aerospace power. Silver Wings is a national, co-ed, professional organization dedicated to creating proactive, knowledgeable, and effective civic leaders through community service and education about national defense. 

CyberPatriot

CyberPatriot the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. 

Programs Include:

  • The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition
  • AFA CyberCamps
  • Eementary School Cyber Education Initiative
  • Cyber Education Literature Series
  • CyberGenerations

StellarXplorers

StellarXplorers inspires and attracts high school students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through a challenging, space system design competition involving all aspects of system development and operation with a spacecraft/payload focus. 

This is an exciting hands-on learning experience that develops commercially valuable skills and increases appreciation for the critical role of space in our daily lives. The competition attracts all types of students with diverse backgrounds who will establish their own experiential base off accomplishment, all while building teamwork and leadership skills. Most of all … it is FUN!!! 

Mitchell Institute

AFA's  Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is an independent, nonpartisan policy research institute established to provide creative, insightful policy options that better empower our nation's leaders by: 

  • Informing the national security debate
  • Educating about aerospace power's unique role in securing America's global interests and
  • Cultivating airminded talent 

How You Can Help

When it comes to education, the opportunities are limitless. From the classroom to the community, AFA offers programs and supports initiatives to advance the future of STEM. There’s camaraderie in our AFA community that can’t be replicated. Any donation received advances STEM-related classroom curriculum while supporting STEM educators, civilians, our Total Force Airmen, their families, and America’s youth.

We would not be able to make such a difference in aerospace education without dedicated supporters like you. Please consider donating to AFA's aerospace education programs to help us ensure that we can continue to cultivate tomorrow's leaders with aerospace education and STEM initiatives. 

Select "Aerospace Education" in the "Donate to" field when making a donation.