Masterflight’s Fabled Aerospace Education, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Operations Program

By Alely Dominguez, age 17,

, the participants in Masterflight’s Aerospace Education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,) Operations Program -that’s AESOP (pronounced EE-SOP) for short, hope to accomplish three goals on this page.

First, we hope you scroll down to learn the 5 components of our program:

1. We are preparing to complete our Private Pilot certification ground school course.

2. We are becoming rocket scientists.

3. We are becoming aerospace educators and preparing to visit the K-8th classrooms in our community – to be role models that will inspire the next generation to concentrate on their math and science studies.

4. We are participating in a rigorous physical fitness program, and

5. We are becoming space analysts and orbital mechanics.

Second, we hope you begin to understand that through our investment of time and hard work in this program we are not only benefiting ourselves, we are on a flight path that will help other students in our school system, our community, our nation, the fields of aerospace, science, technology, engineering and math, and yes, may even lead to our spending more time away from the surface of the earth – whether at 3000 feet, 30,000 feet, or 384,000 kilometers and beyond.

Third, we hope you taste a little bit of the fun and excitement we feel as we become aviators and rocket scientists, athletes, and educators, team members and community servants.

Joshua Goldman, age 17, performing communications team leader duties at the Johnson Space Center Simulator

Aviators Return to (Knowledge) Base

Though Josh Goldman would much rather be learning about aerodynamics by flying airplanes, he recently participated in a press briefing outlining Masterflight’s Aerospace Education, AESOP Private Pilot Certification Course knowledge base training. Goldman said:

“Private Pilot Certification requires us to pass a written examination; an oral exam administered by a Federal Aviation Administration designated pilot examiner, and a check-ride in an airplane.We are currently preparing for our Private Pilot Knowledge Exam including topics in:

Aircraft Systems,
Flight Instruments,
Federal Aviation Regulations,
Airport Operations,
Air Traffic Control communications,
Meteorology for pilots
Aviation Physiology,
Aeronautical Decision Making.”

Capt. Mordechai Levin helps Brisa Orduño, age 17, launch her rocket during the rocket launch program.
(Andre J. Jackson/News-Sun)

T-120 Days And Counting

Brisa Orduño, a senior in Masterflight’s year-long Aerospace Education (AESOP) program, is already hooked on following a career in aerospace education.

“The Final project of our course in Aeronautics and Astronautics is participation in a national rocket design competition called the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC)”.

The challenge is to compete against 750 teams from across the nation to design and build a rocket that can carry 2 hens’ eggs up to an altitude of exactly 750 feet and make sure it returns to earth in exactly 45 seconds WITHOUT CRACKING EITHER EGG.

Teams whose score was one of the 100 best will be invited to compete for a share of the $60,000 prize package at the National Finals at Great Meadow, in The Plains, Virginia. “We have to design and build the rocket without any help from our mentors – that would make us: ROCKET SCIENTISTS” Orduño said.

Left to right: Rachel Jackson, age 15, and Maria Lopez-Zavala, age 17

Nascent Aerospace Educators Suit Up for Action

By Rachel Jackson, age 15

There is no question that learning to fly airplanes, becoming rocket scientists, and orbital mechanics is fun, cool – and will change our lives forever. However, Masterflight’s Aerospace Education AESOP program has a much bigger goal.

We are going to impact the sectors of science, technology, engineering and math, beyond our own participation. We are becoming role models to inspire young people, especially women and people of color to invest more time and energy in math and science while they are in primary and middle schools. This will result in them becoming high school students able to take the courses that will lead to aerospace, science, technology, engineering and math careers.Teams of Masterflight AESOP participants will make aerospace presentations in the local primary and secondary classrooms. “Imagine for a moment how much these young people will be impacted when they see us: pilots and rocket scientists – in our uniforms with epaulettes sharing our enthusiasm as well as our aerospace demonstrations.

I challenge you not to be impressed – and wish you had such an opportunity when you were in high school.”

Fit for Flight
By Lindsey Cardenas, age 17

Whether we are flying aircraft, launching rockets, being role models for young people or tracking satellites, our bodies and our brains need to be in great shape. One component of the Masterflight Aerospace Education AESOP participant’s course work is involvement in The Presidential Champions program.

The Presidential Champions program challenges us to see just how high we can raise our activity level. The guidelines are simple. We can choose from a variety of activities. We get a personal activity log to help us track our progress along the way. There's even a special option for performance athletes and others who train at more advanced levels.The minimum activity level for participants in the Masterflight AESOP program will be 60 minutes of any listed activity on at least 5 days each week.

Masterflight Foundation Program for Teens TrainsNext-generation Rocket Scientists on AGI Software

The Masterflight Foundation’s Aerospace Education, STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] Operations Program (AESOP) has instituted the use of Analytic Graphics software to achieve its ongoing goal to “make a difference in the aerospace industry, including the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by increasing access to the field for young people, especially women and people of color.”

Through Analytic Graphic’s generous contribution of access to the Satellite Tool Kit (STK) software suite, Orbit Determination Tool Kit desktop application, and STK Certification—a commercial value in excess of $5,000,000., Masterflight’s AESOP participants are becoming STK-Certified rocket scientists.

The Masterflight Foundation Aerospace Education Science,Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Operations Program (AESOP) trains tomorrow’s space analysts and orbital mechanics with Analytic Graphics’ Satellite Toolkit (STK) Software Suite.

Students are also creating an introduction to STK, or STK 101, in which fundamentals important to beginning use of AGI software, including math and orbital mechanics primers, are covered.

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