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AFRL STEM ACADEMY

For the past two decades, AFRL New Mexico has invested millions of dollars in creating unique STEM education opportunities for kids all across New Mexico, through our AFRL La Luz Academy, now the new AFRL STEM Academy.

AFRL STEM Academy is geared to engage students from elementary through high school and increase student interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-related studies and career paths.

We bring cutting edge technologies developed by the AFRL directorates into the classroom motivating students to study STEM in a hands-on way, while promoting and teaching Air Force Core Values.

Each year, AFRL NM STEM Academy reaches over 10,000 students and 150 teachers through our collective outreach efforts. We provide structured “Missions” during the school year for students in 5th through 12th grade that are aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

OUR MISSIONS

ROBOTICS CHALLENGE

The Robot Systems Flight provides an opportunity for middle school students to explore the basics of systems engineering and robotics by learning to assemble and program small wheeled robots called Boe-Bots®. Their objective: To program their Boe-Bot® to complete a series of increasingly challenging obstacle courses.
After teachers attend a training session during the Summer, students work in teams in their classrooms during the year on various activities that build the skills they’ll need to assemble and program their robots. Scientists and engineers from AFRL and other Kirtland Air Force Base organizations visit the classrooms to assist teachers and students. Students are invited to attend the optional Robotics Expo in the Spring where they demonstrate their programming abilities on the obstacle courses.

Grade Level:  6th – 8th grade

Contact Hours:  4+

Sign-Up:  August/September of current school year

Location/Format:  School Based – Teacher training, materials, and online curriculum provided for students with a culminating event in March/April for qualifying teams

Description:  Students work in teams and complete hands-on, minds-on activities to explore the basics of programming and math applied to robotics.

MISSION TO MARS

The Mars Missions Flight provides fifth grade students an opportunity to plan and carry out a simulated manned mission to Mars. Their objective: To build a colony of habitats to sustain life on Mars. After teachers attend a training session in the Fall, students work in teams in their classrooms during the school year on various activities that prepare them for the mission. The culminating activity for the Mars Missions Flight takes place in the Spring when over 1,000 students come together to complete their journey to Mars

Grade Level:  5th grade

Contact Hours:  4+

Sign-Up:  August/September of current school year

Location/Format:  School Based – Teacher training, 10-12 weeks of curriculum, and materials provided in preparation for a culminating event in April/May

Description:  Students complete hands-on, minds-on activities to prepare for the simulated manned mission to Mars they will participate in.

DOD STARBASE

DoD STARBASE New Mexico is part of a national program that provides fifth grade students with an opportunity to explore physics, chemistry, technology, engineering, mathematics operations and applications, and STEM careers.Students come to AFRL La Luz Academy for five non-consecutive, five-hour classes during the school year to engage in hands-on, mind-on STEM activities. Scientists, engineers and military volunteers from AFRL and other Kirtland Air Force Base organizations apply abstract principles to real world situations by giving interactive demonstrations on the use of STEM in different settings and careers.

 

Grade Level:  5th grade

Contact Hours:  25

Sign-Up:  April/May of previous school year

Application Form

Application Form for Home Schools

Location/Format:  AFRL NM STEM Outreach Facility – 5 nonconsecutive 5 hour classes at Kirtland AFB

Description:  National program where students explore physics, chemistry, technology, engineering, mathematics operations and applications, and STEM careers on a military base, through hands-on minds-on activities.

DOD STARBASE

DoD STARBASE New Mexico is part of a national program that provides fifth grade students with an opportunity to explore physics, chemistry, technology, engineering, mathematics operations and applications, and STEM careers. Students come to AFRL STEM Academy for five non-consecutive, five-hour classes during the school year to engage in hands-on, mind-on STEM activities. Scientists, engineers and military volunteers from AFRL and other Kirtland Air Force Base organizations apply abstract principles to real world situations by giving interactive demonstrations on the use of STEM in different settings and careers.

 

Grade Level:  5th grade

Contact Hours:  25

Sign-Up:  April/May of previous school year

Application Form

Application Form for Home Schools

Location/Format:  AFRL NM STEM Outreach Facility – 5 nonconsecutive 5 hour classes at Kirtland AFB

Description:  National program where students explore physics, chemistry, technology, engineering, mathematics operations and applications, and STEM careers on a military base, through hands-on minds-on activities.

ROBOTICS CHALLENGE

The Robot Systems Flight provides an opportunity for middle school students to explore the basics of systems engineering and robotics by learning to assemble and program small wheeled robots called Boe-Bots®. Their objective: To program their Boe-Bot® to complete a series of increasingly challenging obstacle courses.
After teachers attend a training session during the Summer, students work in teams in their classrooms during the year on various activities that build the skills they’ll need to assemble and program their robots. Scientists and engineers from AFRL and other Kirtland Air Force Base organizations visit the classrooms to assist teachers and students. Students are invited to attend the optional Robotics Expo in the Spring where they demonstrate their programming abilities on the obstacle courses.

Grade Level:  6th – 8th grade

Contact Hours:  4+

Sign-Up:  August/September of current school year

Location/Format:  School Based – Teacher training, materials, and online curriculum provided for students with a culminating event in March/April for qualifying teams

Description:  Students work in teams and complete hands-on, minds-on activities to explore the basics of programming and math applied to robotics.

TECH FLIGHT

The TECH Flight, for middle school students, occurs in three, five-hour classes at the AFRL La Luz Academy on Kirtland Air Force Base in either the Fall or Spring semester. Fall semester focuses on rocketry, while Spring semester addresses STEM applications related to satellites. Scientists and engineers from AFRL and other Kirtland Air Force Base organizations assist students as they explore STEM concepts in context.

Grade Level: 6th – 8th grade

Contact Hours:  15

Sign-Up:  April/May of the previous school year

Location/Format:  AFRL NM STEM Outreach Facility – Three nonconsecutive 5-hour classes at Kirtland AFB

Description:  Students complete hands-on minds-on activities to explore basic STEM concepts behind model rocketry (fall semester participants) and satellites (spring semester participants).

STEM CHALLENGE

The STEM Challenge Flight provides an opportunity for teams of three or four high school students to solve a technical problem involving a launching device, a payload protection device, and an egg payload.
Students complete several assignments that guide them as they work on developing their solution to the problem. Scientist and engineer mentors from AFRL provide technical support and feedback to the student teams. At the culminating STEM Challenge Symposium event in the Spring, teams compete with their launching devices to earn the most points with their payload protection device.

Grade Level: 9th – 12th grade

Contact Hours: 4+

Sign-Up: August/September of current school year

Location/Format: School Based – Teacher training, materials, and online curriculum provided for students with a culminating event in April for qualifying teams

Description: Students work in teams to complete hands-on, minds-on activities to design, build, and test a launching device and payload protection device that will send an egg payload through a hula hoop towards a target a specified distance away.