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 and $500 grants to up to 40 teachers annually..

Aerospace Micro-lessons is a program created by the STEM K-12 Committee and provides easily digestible lessons focused on aerospace principles. Each lesson is broken down into grade levels and are meant to spark conversation and interest in aerospace. Lessons will range from engineering, to mathematics, to physics, to highlighting aerospace anniversaries - all of which are presented easily to K-12 students.

College and University

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

Diversity Scholars Program provides opportunities for university students from underrepresented communities who have an interest in or are pursuing a degree in aerospace to attend AIAA Forums. Students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, gender minorities, individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, and first-generation students receive priority in funding. 

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 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, as well as one held in an international location.  In addition, one International Student Conference is held each year at an AIAA Forum.


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

Partnership Programs

AIA Team America Rocket Challenge provides high school students with an opportunity to compete in the nation’s largest student rocket competition. AIAA is proud to support this program by providing technical mentors and the opportunity to expose students to the challenges, fun, and comradery that underpins the aerospace profession.

Blue Origin Design/Build/Launch! AIAA and Blue Origin collaborate on a high school program and competition that inspires students to design, build and launch an experiment that will fly on New Shepard payload during an experimental flight test.

Conrad Challenge offers a unique opportunity to a global community of students to collaborate and innovate together virtually. They become entrepreneurial problem-solvers, addressing challenging social, scientific and societal issues through utilizing their creativity and critical-thinking skills.

Higher Orbits brings students interested in space an exceptional hands-on experience through Go for Launch! This multiday program sparks the imagination of students in grades 8-12, and introduces leadership principles, teamwork, and problem-solving skills through science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM).

Intel Science Fair and AIAA “Look Up!” Awards AIAA collaborates with the Intel Science Fair to celebrate exceptional high school-level research with the goal of encouraging further study in aerospace. Winners of the award receive a one-time cash award and one year of AIAA student membership with access to all AIAA student programs.

Reach for the Stars - National Rocket Competition honors the first Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe. Students build and launch their own rockets in local competitions. After two launches and parachute landings, the closest average distance to an on-field target wins, and the local winner’s results are sent to the national headquarters to determine the five national winners. The national winners are invited to celebrate and launch at Space Camp, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL.