STEM Programs Children don eye protection prior to entering an Aerospace lab

STEM Outreach

Aerospace Participation in National STEM Programs

The Aerospace Corporation also currently participates in several national STEM programs:

US FIRST Robotics

Students from Crenshaw High School at the FIRST Robotics competition in Long Beach, CA

Students from Crenshaw High School at the FIRST Robotics competition in Long Beach, CA

Aerospace-sponsored FIRST Robotics teams on both coasts and in Colorado Springs, as well as Botball robotics team on the East Coast, are examples of recent Aerospace employees STEM outreach efforts. These STEM activities have already paid off in handsome near-team dividends, with the Aerospace-sponsored Woodrow Wilson High School team of Washington, D.C., winning the first-place prize in the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition.

Aerospace is involved in this program by providing volunteers to mentor students at selected schools throughout the year, including:

  • King Drew High School – Los Angeles, CA
  • Crenshaw High School – Los Angeles, CA
  • Orcutt Academy High School – Orcutt, CA
  • Woodrow Wilson High School – Washington, DC


A national enrichment club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory. Aerospace is involved in this program by providing volunteers to mentor students at selected schools throughout the year.

Change the Equation

The Aerospace Corporation is a member of Change the Equation, an initiative to cultivate widespread literacy in the STEM disciplines. Former astronaut and Aerospace trustee the late Dr. Sally Ride was one of the founders of the program, and Dr. Wanda Austin, Aerospace president and chief executive officer, was among the first CEOs to commit to the initiative.

Change the Equation is bringing together 100 companies across multiple sectors, all of which are dedicated to preparing students for STEM-related careers as an investment in their business, the economy, and our democracy. Through innovative and effective company-led programs, members will work to encourage capable and enthusiastic STEM-literate graduates.

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA)

Aerospace volunteers support middle and high school students engaged in the MESA program. One of the country’s most innovative and successful programs, MESA works with thousands of educationally disadvantaged students to encourage them to excel in math and science, and to continue with STEM studies in college.

MESA works closely with industry partners and the University of California, the California State University, the California Community Colleges, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the State Department of Education. MESA is nationally recognized for its innovative academic development program.

Aerospace volunteers assist students with both engineering and writing support.

STARS Facility

Students learn about launches and telemetry in the STARS facility

STARS Field Trip

Aerospace’s state-of-the-art Spacelift Telemetry Acquisition and Reporting System (STARS) facility welcomed fourth-grade students from Star View Elementary School in Midway City, CA. STARS staff answered students’ questions on rockets, satellites, and space, while alien inquiries were addressed by Aerospace in-house extraterrestrial expert Dr. Ed Ruth. Aerospace intends for these field trips to serve as a template on which a capability to visit schools and foster students’ excitement about learning science, mathematics, and engineering can be spearheaded. STARS personnel are working to build a “virtual STARS” capability as a training tool to get students excited about the space program.

Albuquerque STEM Initiative

The Aerospace American-Indian and Alaskan-Native Council and the Aerospace Women’s Committee sponsored an event as part of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiative and outreach objectives. Aerospace employees visited with students at Pueblo of Laguna Middle School in Albuquerque, NM, and Aerospace volunteers spoke with students about the space and missile industry as well as local career opportunities available to students as they progress through their college curriculum and beyond. More than 120 students listened to discussions and watched videos of the Kodiak Launch Complex Space Test Program’s S-26 mission.