By James Albaugh|July/August 2017
For more than 20 years, the AIAA Foundation has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and teachers at the K–12 and university levels. Additionally, the generosity of thousands of individual and corporate members has made an impact on the aerospace community through the Foundation’s programming for both students and educators. Donations to the AIAA Foundation are the embodiment of our community’s forward-looking spirit, our desire to continuously grow our community, and our promise to do all we can to help the next generation of aerospace professionals. Your contributions not only provide the critical support necessary for the Foundation’s activities, but also forge a tangible link between current and future members of the aerospace community.
In May 2015, the AIAA Board of Directors approved a matching gift program of one million dollars; a level of giving that we achieved in April 2017. To build on the success of the first program, the matching program was extended with an additional one million dollar match in May 2017. This is yet another example of the Institute’s commitment to increase the Foundation’s resources and enable it to evolve and support new and existing programming.
Let me take a moment to share some recent examples of the impact that the AIAA Foundation has had in shaping the next generation of aerospace professionals.
- With the leadership of Lockheed Martin Corporation, more than 350 middle-school students attended Generation STEM events at AIAA forums to experience hands-on demonstrations of science and engineering.
- With the leadership of the Raytheon Company and Textron Aviation, 73 teams—including 16 from outside the United States—comprising 754 university students and advisors participated in the 21st annual Design/Build/Fly Competition.
- The AIAA Rocky Mountain Section made a contribution to establish an undergraduate scholarship for students from within the section’s geographic boundaries.
- The Numerical Propulsion System Simulation Consortium made a financial contribution to support the Undergraduate Team Engine Design Competition.
- AIAA members participated in the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and presented the inaugural “AIAA Look Up!” Award that celebrates exceptional high-school level research to encourage further study in aerospace.
- More than 750 college and university students attended the Regional Student Conferences with nearly half of them presenting technical papers.
- 58 university teams competed in six aerospace design competitions, and more than 425 students participated in paper design competitions focused on solving various engineering problems.
- 10 undergraduate scholarships and seven graduate awards were presented, totaling more than $50,000 to students pursuing aerospace studies.
- 90 classroom grant proposals were submitted and 40 of those proposals were funded—impacting more than 7,000 K–12 students.
- 15 aerospace micro-lessons were developed and distributed to 4,215 AIAA Educator Associates, who are K–12 teachers, to enhance lesson plans with a focus on aerospace principles.
- Our newest program, the FIRST® LEGO® League Grant Program, with leadership from The Boeing Company, encourages AIAA members to coach middle-school students in STEM subjects.
As the AIAA Foundation Board of Trustees continues to enhance our existing educational programming and spearheads the creation of new programming, your support of the Foundation is more important than ever. Your generosity provides the lifeblood of the Foundation and lays a foundation upon which we will build the future of our community. I hope that I can count on you, as a member, to continue this legacy of giving back. Your support ensures that our community will be advancing aerospace for generations to come.
For more information and to make a donation, please visit www.aiaafoundation.org.★