Aerospace Day Inspires Future STEM Leaders

8 student organizations come together to offer an exciting event for 7-12 grade students.

On April 13, the University of Michigan chapter of AIAA and the Outreach Committee hosted their annual Aerospace Day, a day of aerospace exploration and excitement for young students within the Ann Arbor community. This annual event welcomed students grades 7-12, along with their parents and families, to the university’s campus to learn about Aerospace Engineering and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) degree programs. 

Participants spent the day engaging with our professional and technical aerospace student organizations through presentations, games, trivia, hands-on building activities and other learning opportunities. Throughout the day, members of the Michigan Aerospace community and other North Campus organizations joined together to offer various activities currently going on within the university. 

The event also hosted eight student organizations, each showcasing their ongoing projects and initiatives, and the diverse range of opportunities available within the university.

  • Bioastronautics and Life Support Systems (BLiSS)
    • Hosted a jeopardy-style game about life systems in space!
  • Collaborative Lab for Advancing Work in Space (CLAWS)
    • Presented about augmented reality and its integration into space suits for NASA!
  • Michigan Advanced In-Space propulsion Engineers (MAISE)
    • Presented about electric propulsion and demonstrated a mini Hall thruster!
  • Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA)
    • Hosted a balloon rocket car building session and raced them! 
  • M-Fly
    • Simulated flight of an airplane and showcased real parts that help an airplane fly! 
  • Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS)
    • Played a lego building game that mimicked how astronauts have to build in space with only verbal instructions!
  • Sigma Gamma Tau (SGT)
    • Hosted a boat building competition from household items to learn about structures!
  • Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WAA)
    • Played a trivia game to learn about historical women in aerospace! 

A major highlight of the day for students was MAISE bringing in their mini Hall thruster and their presentation about electric propulsion. Students then got to see the thruster in action as members of MAISE demonstrated its purple glow. 

Mini Hall thruster from MAISE

The overall event fostered an outstanding collaborative effort between departments and the Ann Arbor community as a whole, promoting STEM education and fostering a sense of shared enthusiasm for learning and discovery. It was without a doubt an event to remember for the students and their families and hopefully inspired at least a few to pursue degrees in STEM in their future academic careers. 

Congratulations to the students who organized such a great event and thank you to those that joined in on a day of exciting learning.