March 6, 2020 – Rangeview High School #2 in Aurora, Colorado, and the School of Engineering & Biomedical Science at Pueblo County High School in Pueblo, Colorado, are among the top 10 teams invited to the StellarXplorers VI National Finals Competition, to be held April 20-22, 2020. These top 10 teams advanced through four competitive qualification rounds, and represent schools and other youth groups from California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Oregon.
StellarXplorers is a national high school space challenge involving all aspects of system development and operation with a spacecraft and payload. The annual competition is hosted by the Air Force Association (AFA).
“STEM education is a key component of AFA’s mission and our StellarXplorers program plays a central role in attracting students to education and careers in these critical fields that are vital to our nation,” said AFA President, Bruce “Orville” Wright. “The finalists who have made it through the three rounds of competition to make it to the National Finals are truly experts in the field of space system engineering.”
The sixth competition season began in October 2019 with 213 teams registered from 35 states and two overseas locations. Each team consists of two to six students.
Finalist teams will travel all-expenses paid to Houston, Texas to compete for the National Championship title. The competition will require them to define 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 we need,” said Stephen K. Gourley, StellarXplorers Program Director. “With the graying and passing of the Apollo-era cadre, the US needs to find and challenge talented students, wherever they are. We are quite proud of the participants’ demographics, drawn from urban, suburban, and rural populations.”
StellarXplorers, an 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 the U.S. Air Force STEM Program, L3Harris, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Rocket Lab USA, and Space Exploration Technologies, with additional support from the Educational Alliance of Analytical Graphics, Inc, Space Center Houston, and Coyote Enterprises.
A full list of the National Finalists can be found here.