AFA To Integrate High School Competition With Space Symposium


April 10, 2015 – The Air Force Association (AFA) will use its StellarXplorers group and opportunities at the 31st Space Symposium to inspire Colorado students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

On the morning of Wednesday, April 15, five teams of high school students will gather at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs to tackle a problem of orbital design using Systems Tool Kit (STK), in its AGI Space Missions Simulation Laboratory.

The students will spend the morning at the Discovery Center working on their team design challenge, then, while judging takes place, will travel to The Broadmoor, site of the 31st Space Symposium. The students will tour the Symposium’s Ball Aerospace Exhibit Center, and then later that afternoon trophies will be awarded to the first and second place teams in a presentation at the Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) booth in the exhibit center.

“We believe it is important to get industry tools into the hands of tomorrow’s leaders in space. It’s fantastic to see these students working with STK, and we are proud to support the StellarXplorers’ competition,” said Paul Graziani, AGI Chief Executive Officer.

All Space Symposium participants are encouraged to stop by the AGI booth #402 at 3:20 p.m. on April 15 for the award presentation, and to support the young people who may become future space leaders. This event is not open to the general public.

The AFA’s goal with the competition is to expand it geographically and with increasing complexity to include all aspects of the space system process.

Eventually, the AFA’s objective is to grow this demonstration into a national program with a well-grounded educational component and with objectives of:

  • Stimulating in students an appreciation for the criticality of an enduring U.S. space presence;

  • Educating students on fundamental aspects of space systems engineering, space support systems, and space operations;

  • Exposing students to space industry career opportunities; and

  • Facilitating space industry internship and scholarship opportunities for participants.

  • AFA is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Learn more by visiting

    Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) provides commercial software for designing, developing and operating missions within the space and national defense communities. For more information, visit