StellarXplorers Announces 2021 National Finalists
April 15, 2021

StellarXplorers Announces 2021 National Finalists

StellarXplorers logo

The Air Force Association (AFA) announced today the names of the teams invited to the StellarXplorers VII National Finals Competition, to be held April 15-17, 2021. Teams will compete virtually for a chance at the National Championship title. These top 10 teams advanced through four competitive qualification rounds, and represent schools and other youth groups from California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Oregon. A full list of the National Finalists can be found here.

“The 54 competitors who made it through this rigorous process represent the best in the nation and we are very proud of their success,” said AFA President Lt Gen (Ret) Bruce “Orville” Wright. “Being named a national finalist in any season is a fantastic achievement, but to do so in this year’s challenging environment is an even greater accomplishment. Not only has the competition become more rigorous, but dealing with pandemic protocols this season stressed our teams even further. At AFA, we are passionate about promoting STEM education and our StellarXplorers program plays an important role in advancing students’ interest in these critical career fields.”

StellarXplorers, The National High School Space Challenge, is a nation-wide, STEM workforce development program. The seventh competition season began in October 2020 with 211 teams registered from 33 states and two overseas locations. Each team consists of two to six students. At this year’s National Finals Competition, teams will compete by defining orbits, spacecraft components, and launch vehicles to meet a set of mission requirements. The teams will also brief an expert panel on their work as a part of their overall score.

“These very talented competitors represent the next generation of the technical workforce the Nation needs,” said Stephen K. Gourley, StellarXplorers Program Director. “With the graying and passing of the Apollo-era cadre, the U.S. needs to find and challenge talented students, whoever and wherever they are. We are quite proud of the participants’ demographics, all backgrounds, races, and genders drawn from urban, suburban, and rural populations.”

StellarXplorers, an Aerospace Education initiative established by AFA, is a space system engineering competition designed to inspire students toward futures in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Program sponsors include our Presenting Sponsor, Lockheed Martin; the U.S. Air Force STEM Program; L3Harris; with additional support from the Educational Alliance of Analytical Graphics, Inc; Space Center Houston; and Coyote Enterprises.

To learn more about this program, please visit AFA's StellarXplorers website

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote dominant U.S. Air and Space Forces as the foundation of a strong National Defense; to honor and support our Airmen, Guardians, and their Families; and to remember and respect our enduring Heritage.