How AFA’s Waterman-Twining Chapter Supports STEM at Tampa Middle School

December 21, 2023

AFA’s Waterman-Twining Chapter has supported Stewart Middle Magnet School, located just north of downtown Tampa, Fla., for many years. Stewart is a nationally recognized NASA Explorer School with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) which uses Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum to teach unique electives on aerospace technologies and engineering.

One of the most popular extracurriculars at Stewart is their three CyberPatriot teams—this is the school’s third year in competition. Each team included at least one student who had competed previously. The teams are coached by Brainard Harris, who teaches the PLTW Aerospace Technology course and other engineering and technology classes. Brainard was named the 2020 Waterman-Twining Chapter Teacher of the Year

On November 16, 2023, Bill Yucuis, the Chapter’s president, participated in the National Teach In Day to give a presentation at Stewart Middle School. Yucuis presented to four different sixth-grade classrooms, giving a short demonstration of the STK space software used in AFA’s StellarXplorers competition, while asking students if they could explain how satellites stay in orbit. He also gave an overview of rocketry, including a presentation on Chinese rockets, Congreve rockets, contributions by Robert Goddard and Werner von Braun, and a summary of the early days of the Space Race.