The World's Forum for Aerospace Leadership

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

AIAA Foundation – Programs We Support

Your gift to the AIAA Foundation makes these programs possible:


Classroom Grants provide opportunities for teachers to supplement their lesson plans with hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities that actively engage students in creative and innovative projects, and often provides funding for programs that may have been cut from school budgets.  The AIAA Foundation Classroom Grant program is one of the best resources that teachers turn to for activities assistance, and awards $250 grants to up to 40 teachers annually.

Generation STEM: Discovering Aerospace through Experience is a new and exciting STEM program filled with fun and interactive educational STEM experiences for middle school students.  This program provides the opportunity to engage and stimulate students by offering interactive activities such as mini design competitions and challenges;  demonstrations from various aerospace companies; learning more about aerospace careers;  discovering aerospace findings that are impacting everyday life; and meeting scientists, engineers, researchers and astronauts who share the same passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, all with the hope of Shaping the Future of Aerospace.

Graduate Awards and Undergraduate Scholarships assist college students as they work to earn their aerospace degrees. Various scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate students, from $5,000 to $25,000.

Design Competitions ask students to solve real-world design problems. Our five annual design competitions give our best student designers a chance to put their talent front and center in the aerospace world.

Design/Build/Fly Competition is a balanced design competition, demonstrating good flight handling qualities, high vehicle performance, and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements. To encourage innovation and maintain a fresh design challenge for participants, design requirements and performance objectives are modified for each contest year.

Student Conferences provide undergraduate and graduate students with the chance to present research in a formal technical meeting atmosphere, to network with and receive feedback from respected industry professionals and students. The Foundation supports two types of student conferences each year: six Regional Student Conferences held throughout the United States, and one in Europe and one in Australia; and one International Student Conference. 

The AIAA Foundation takes pride in working with families and organizations to fund, recognize and honor many student and professional awards and the success of their contributions to the aerospace industry.

Educator Achievement Awards recognizes excellence in aerospace education.   Every two years, the AIAA Foundation recognizes up to five outstanding educators for their accomplishments in teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathermatics to K–12 students and preparing them to use and contribute to tomorrow’s technologies.

AIAA Foundation Award for Excellence was established in 1998 and recognizes excellence within the aerospace community exemplifying the inspirational qualities that inspire the global community. Individual teams, programs or organizations – whose current noteworthy accomplishment, unique accomplishments for the duration of a program, or extraordinary lifetime contributions represent “excellence within the aerospace community,” and generate “inspiration for the global community” – are eligible nominees.