Fostering Students’ Curiosity All Year Round

Summer break provides the perfect opportunity to give back to students and teachers in our communities that need it most.
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As there are endless numbers of stars in the sky, so too are there endless numbers of students dreaming of one day taking their places in space. Throughout the year, The Aerospace Corporation remains dedicated to providing resources for students and teachers. Even when school is not in session, like during summer breaks, Aerospace is working to reach out to curious students and help them make those dreams come true.

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Aerospace employees find many different ways to contribute to STEM learning opportunities within their communities.

This summer, Aerospace hosted a two-week virtual program providing students a glimpse into the fascinating work being done at Aerospace. The participants, 35 percent of whom are first-generation college students, heard from 11 different subject matter experts on technical topics that span across the space enterprise. The students also built an Arduino kit and worked in teams to present on a project about collective ground structure. Students said that they loved the experience, and the majority of students felt even more interested in Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM), and especially space, thanks to Aerospace.

Through the AeroScholars program, students were given a tour of Vandenberg Space Force Base (VAFB), Calif., this summer. The students learned about Aerospace’s programs at VAFB and toured the space launch complexes (SLCs), including SpaceX’s SLC, where they saw a Falcon 9 rocket being refurbished for its next launch. The tour was a great opportunity for the scholars to see firsthand some of the potential opportunities that lay ahead for them in space.

The Aerospace Virtual Teacher Workshop is another way we help teachers inspire the next generation. Through this program, Aerospace hosts engaging events and workshops, which cover space topics for both students and STEM educators.

This free program, which has been running since 2013, exposes participants to the research, state-of-the-art facilities, and modern technical skills needed to succeed in the STEM fields. Aerospace’s rich history and deep expertise is also leveraged as a resource to provide real-world examples of problems and solutions for the teachers to learn from and share with their students.

In Albuquerque, N.M., teachers from across the country attended the Summer STEM Teachers Workshop, hosted by Aerospace. Aerospace experts joined in and presented on a variety of topics, included space debris, encryption, robotics, and environmental testing. Teachers also built model rockets and learned lessons and other activities they can do in the classroom. By working with teachers and helping them to create exciting and engaging materials for their upcoming school year, Aerospace helps equip these teachers with a variety of exciting lessons to take back to their students in the fall and help foster their students’ curiosity and get them excited about the future of space.

Students’ curiosity and thirst for knowledge doesn’t end when summer beings. Aerospace is proud to provide resources for students and teachers throughout their summer breaks, in addition to providing a plethora of programming during the school year, ensuring their interests are supported and continue to grow.