One of the missions of the Air Force Association (AFA) is to promote a dominant US Air Force. The AFA accomplishes this by educating the public on the need for aerospace power and advocating for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.
Today’s students carry the future of tomorrow’s Air Force. To equip them with the skills they need to pursue STEM career paths and innovate for the future, AFA established StellarXplorers. This is a program that challenges high school students to competitively solve space system challenges involving aspects of spacecraft system development and operations. Students compete in teams of two to six supervised by a team director (teacher).
Teams are drawn from high schools, School Clubs, JROTC, Boy/Girl Scouts, and organized youth organizations. Participation is free up until the first qualifying round where a $200 registration fee is required. Teams receive an academic online curriculum and specific training kit for system simulation software. They also must solve a space design problem. Participants go through three qualification rounds before the semifinal and final rounds. To learn more, please visit http://www.stellarxplorers.org/.
The author, Virginia resident Carl Buhler is the CEO of Buhler Consulting, LLC (https://buhlerconsulting.com) and is a retired Brigadier General from the US Air Force. Carl Buhler is also a member of the AFA.
The Air Force Association (AFA), an independent nonprofit organization, supports professionals in the military and aerospace industries and provides the public with a variety of educational information through its outreach programs. Every year, the association hosts numerous professional development opportunities, including the Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
In 2018, the Air, Space & Cyber Conference will take place September 17-19 in National Harbor, Maryland. Focusing on the theme of Multi-Domain Operations: Leveraging the Full Spectrum, this event will feature expert speakers tackling topics ranging from defense strategies and the defense market to operational issues and legislative challenges. Leaders in the aerospace industry will come together to network and participate in these specific topics and other general areas of interest. Attendees can also view innovative technologies and services from exhibitors in the industry. More information is available at https://www.afa.org/airspacecyber/home.
The author, Carl Buhler, was deployed during the cease-fire phase of Operation Desert Storm and served as a maintenance officer for the Thunderbirds squadron.
Established to preserve America’s history and share stories of the past, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation oversees a variety of educational programs and online resources. It also pursues archaeological research in conjunction with technological innovation to help bring the history of the nation in a bright and vibrant manner to individuals alive today.
One of the foundation’s recent projects includes the creation of a virtual Williamsburg, a three-dimensional re-creation of the town meant to represent May 15, 1776, when the fifth Virginia Convention took place. This project builds upon the research of archaeologists, curators, and historians to immerse viewers in history through assistance from cutting-edge technologies such as CAD and 3D modeling software.
The author, Carl Buhler, has received honors such as the Air Force Maintenance Effectiveness Award and a nomination for the General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley Award. Alongside his career working in areas such as logistics, Carl Buhler is a member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
An experienced military officer, Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Carl Buhler has served on active duty with the US Air Force since 1989 and most recently supervised a range of functions at Air Combat Command (ACC) headquarters. Carl Buhler is also a member of a few military-related organizations, such as the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).
Founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1929, MOAA moved its headquarters to Washington, DC, during World War II. Since then, the organization has grown to nearly 400,000 members while providing a range of services, including military benefits counseling and career transition assistance. In addition, MOAA is committed to supporting the education of its members’ children.
Among other educational initiatives, the organization offers financial assistance for college through the MOAA Scholarship Fund. Launched in 1948, the fund has provided more than $140 million to children of MOAA members, primarily in the form of no-interest loans. These funds have helped more than 14,000 students afford higher education.
A veteran military officer, Air Force Brigadier General (Brig Gen) Carl Buhler has served in military operations such as Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Desert Storm. Outside of his service to his country, Carl Buhler enjoys learning about history by visiting Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, the world’s largest living history museum.
In addition to the museums and an entire town built to recreate life in the 18th century, Colonial Williamsburg offers a range of educational programs and resources for schools and students. Among these, Colonial Williamsburg maintains the Idea of America, a standards-based digital curriculum that provides a unique approach to American history. Based on the fundamental idea that the history of America is about the history of debate in the quest of a more perfect union, the Idea of America includes digital multimedia content accessible on individual digital devices or classroom whiteboards, a pedagogical model that encourages debate and discussion, and 65 case studies covering American history topics ranging from colonial America to the modern political landscape.
Additionally, Colonial Williamsburg offers professional development resources for educators who wish to teach using the Idea of America module. To learn more, visit www.history.org.