HomeNewsArticle Display

Sirius Potatoes wins StellarXplorers STEM competition

Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, director of space programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, presents an award to Sirius Potatoes from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., April 14, 2016, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gooder)

Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, director of space programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, presents an award to Sirius Potatoes from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., April 14, 2016, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gooder)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AFNS) -- Sirius Potatoes, a team from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, California, recently won the StellarXplorers space system design competition at the Space Foundation’s 32nd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

The StellarXplorers program, a space-focused science, technology, engineering and mathematics outreach competition, is designed to inspire and motivate high school students to pursue studies and careers in STEM. The competition employs computer simulations for orbit generation and propagation, computer-aided system design, system performance assessment and budgetary constraints.

In her keynote address, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said, “This year, we saw StellarXplorers expand to 27 teams across the globe and there are plans to expand further in next year’s competition. So needless to say, I think this is fantastic growth; the program is really catching on.”

Teams from across the U.S. and Germany completed the comprehensive curriculum and competed in three qualifying rounds throughout the school year to earn a trip to the national finals. The teams with the top 10 cumulative scores competed in the national finals in Colorado Springs during the symposium, which took place April 11-14.

The members of the national finalist teams were extremely diverse with a broad set of interests from a variety of backgrounds -- nearly 30 percent of the finalists were female; more than half emanate from minority populations; and four of the teams came from Title 1 schools.

“We always encourage Airmen to get out into the local communities and mentor students through our diversity and outreach programs,” said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the Air Force STEM Advisory Council chairman. “StellarXplorers is energizing the next generation of space technologists and the Air Force is thrilled to be part of the program.”

For the final competition, students were required to define an optimal satellite orbit, choose spacecraft components, and select rocket boosters to meet a stringent set of mission requirements in an intense eight-hour period. The next day, teams were required to brief their solution to a panel of experts.

"StellarXplorers has broadened our vision on aerospace engineering with real-life situations,” said Regina Kim, the Sirius Potatoes team captain. “Our team performed exceptionally well and the competition allowed us to learn so much more about space, satellites and engineering."

Full national deployment of the StellarXplorers program will occur during the 2016-2017 school year and the Air Force is helping to grow participation to at least 150 teams.

Airmen can volunteer to mentor a team and help inspire kids to pursue a future STEM career by registering for StellarXplorers III. Registration is currently open and will remain available until Oct. 15.

The following teams competed in the national finals:

- Huntsville High School, Huntsville, Alabama -- Air Force junior ROTC Phantom Panthers

- James Clemens High School, Madison, Alabama -- Jets Engineering

- Boys and Girls Clubs of Carson, Long Beach, California -- Carson 2

- Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, California -- Star Fleet (2016 2nd place)

- Palos Verdes Peninsula High School -- Sirius Potatoes (2016 national champions)

- San Pedro High School, San Pedro, California -- Coalition of Hardworking Aerospace Physics Students

- Rangeview High School, Aurora, Colorado -- Space Raiders (2015 champs; 2016 3rd Place)

- Vista Ridge High School, Colorado Springs -- Stellar Wolves

- Dixie High School junior ROTC, St George, Utah -- Star Flyers

- Kaiserslautern American High School, Kaiserslautern, Germany -- Galaxy Raiders

Engage

Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Twitter
A C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Wing flies during a Joint Forcible Entry exercise at Dyess… https://t.co/t3VXu0ZYWj
Twitter
Pentagon staff applaud @cmsaf_official as he exits the Pentagon for the last time as Chief Master Sgt. of the Air… https://t.co/c9RXsc3lAO
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA on Aug 14 at 9:30AM E… https://t.co/GfPIHkx0zn
Twitter
An @EdwardsAFB B-52H Stratofortress completed a captive-carry flight test of the AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Respon… https://t.co/HxxgE2In8C
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived to @NellisAFB to see RED FLAG, the #USAF Weapons School, and more. Because it has the best #Airmen and trai…
Twitter
“It’s no overstatement to say that brilliant ideas combined with trailblazing Airmen makes today’s Air Force the mo… https://t.co/qsDWN2Den5
Twitter
An F-22 Raptor aircraft assigned to the 3rd Wing approaches for landing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during R… https://t.co/EMKHnjC6p0
Twitter
A C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing, equipped with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, flies over fires near… https://t.co/9BPVXNFual
Twitter
Roam Robotics developed a lightweight & inexpensive knee exoskeleton for applications in the health, military & rec… https://t.co/7klpyEaYG1
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: |RESOLUTE PARTNERSHIPS| On Aug. 6, 2020, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and @AirMobilityCmd units were called to action to p…
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord flies over the Seattle skyline after completing a training exe… https://t.co/4IodNs1bId
Twitter
#DYK The T-33A Shooting Star at Moody AFB's air park was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening… https://t.co/XXY3pAHDzu
Twitter
A C-17 Globemaster III returns to @TeamCharleston after evacuating to Ellsworth AFB. Ellsworth has a support agree… https://t.co/vtHhp1ETVC
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD in 1949, the DOD was formed, unifying the military under the secretary of defense. Our thanks to everyone who serve…
Twitter
Starting off the week with some air power! . An F-22 Raptor assigned to the 3rd Wing takes off from Joint Base Elme… https://t.co/cjvCe6fSOk
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: “We need out-of-the-box thinkers to succeed in our mission of developing the base of the future,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Mel…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,266,366
Follow Us