STEM Resources

A Wind Tunnel You Can Build

The Phoenix Section of the AIAA has developed a table-top wind tunnel as an example of what K-12 educators can readily create and use in their classroom. We were looking for some sort of "hands-on" demo or activity that we could use at public events and would be useful as a classroom tool. It had to be easy and inexpensive to build. We found this wind tunnel idea on the national AIAA website and started building it.

A cardboard wind tunnel you can build
You can download a description and instructions for this project by clicking on the link below.

About Phoenix AIAA STEM Activities

About AIAA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is a nonprofit engineering society, whose mission is to address the professional needs and interests of the past, current, and future aerospace workforce and to advance the state of aerospace science, engineering, technology, operations, and policy to benefit our global society. There are more than 31,000 professional members in its 65 sections and 5,500 student members in 145 student branches plus 56 domestic and international corporate members.

The Phoenix Section of AIAA

The Phoenix Section of AIAA has about professional 400 members distributed among the many aerospace firms in the Phoenix area. We represent engineers employed at such companies as Honeywell, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics.

We also have academic representation via regular and student members at Arizona State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. There are over 100 student members plus around 200 Educator Associate members (K-12 teachers). The organization offers free Educator Associate membership to teachers at all pre-college levels. We have regular monthly dinner meetings and occasional field trips and special events for our members. Student members and Educator Associates are welcome to attend these. We participate in public policy activities (Congressional Visit Days) and similar events.

K-12 and STEM Outreach

The Phoenix Section has supported aerospace-themed events at various local and works with such organizations as the Challenger Learning Center and Engineer’s Week in promoting science and engineering among our young people. Our members are working engineers and can arrange to visit your classroom to talk about careers or topics in aviation and space. We participate in educator resource events to advertise our society and promote the resources we offer.

The goals of the Phoenix Section STEM K-12 Committee are:
1. Promote Educator Associate membership to offer educators the benefits of AIAA membership and networking opportunities with engineers.
2. Publicize our Speakers Bureau in order to get more engineers in the classroom.
3. Establish partnerships and mentoring arrangements with schools and other institutions.

We are always looking for inputs from educators on how we can assist them, and we need more volunteers from our members in order to accomplish these goals. Please contact our K-12 chair (below) to get involved.

To reach me, send an email to:

Speakers Bureau

The Phoenix Section of the AIAA has long been active in K-12 (pre-college) outreach activities.  We have been participated in astronomy nights at schools, rocket launches, classroom visits, and many teacher resources events. When we interact with educators, we are often asked to have a member engineer make an appearance at a school. This seems to be a common need by educators – to have engineers come into the classroom.

In order to better serve these teachers, not to mention our Educator Associate (EA) members, we have established a speaker’s bureau associated with the Section.  Because of our members schedule and the geographic size of the Phoenix metro area, we may not be able to accommodate each and every request. But we have pulled together a list of volunteers, below, where they live, and the topic they can speak about.  Not all the topics seems to be obviously suited for grade schoolers, for example, but we can tailor the presentation to the audience.

If you would like someone to visit your school or organization, please contact us via the email noted on the “About AIAA” page here.

Name: Patrick Jordan
Profession: Engineer
Employer: Goodrich
Topic: Commercial Aircraft Evacuation Systems
Location: East Valley (Tempe, Chandler)

Name: Ahmed Hassan
Profession: Professor
Employer: ASU, retired from Boeing
Topic: Aerodynamics
Location: East Valley

Name: Malak Malak
Profession: Engineer
Employer: Honeywell
Topic: Turbomachinery
Location: East Valley (Tempe, Chandler, Sky Harbor area)

Name: Rob Trepa
Profession: Engineer
Employer: Edge Consulting
Topic: Flight Test for Beginners
Location: No preference

Name: Joyce Tokar
Profession: Software Engineer
Employer: Pyrrhus Software
Topic: Women in Engineering, Software Engineering
Location: No preference

Name: Luan Trinh
Profession: Engineering student
Employer: ASU
Topic: Engineering as Career
Location: No preference

Name: Eric Nichols
Profession: Engineer
Employer: Orbital
Topic: The Solar System
Location: East Valley

Name: Michael Mackowski
Profession: Engineer
Employer: Orbital
Topic: How Satellites Work
Location: East Valley

Resources and Links

There are many STEM resources and activities in the Phoenix area for educators as well as volunteer opportunities for engineers and technologists. A few are noted here.

STEM News and Events

Arizona Science and Technology Festival
This group is now posting a great listing of current and future STEM events in the area.

Science Foundation Arizona
They have a great listing of events and resources on their website.

Challenger Learning Center of Arizona
You cannot have a listing of aerospace STEM groups and not include the Challenger Center.

Other Programs and Resources

(Mesa) Space Integration Module This program brings a space mission into your school, including physical space shuttle and space station modules, multimedia and technology to create a problem-solving learning experience.

(Mesa) Flight Centers
This aviation program for Mesa fifth graders is hosted at two schools and is co-sponsored by Boeing.  It includes modules called Pre-Flight Briefing, Ground School, Activity Stations, and Post-Flight Debriefing.

Honeywell Aerospace Challenge
Honeywell (in Glendale) sponsors a space-themed competition every year in cooperation with the Fiesta Bowl committee. In past years it has been oriented around having students design a space station. The last couple of years has involved a lunar base.

Masters In Data Science Resource List
The Ultimate STEM Guide
This comprehensive guide to STEM for kids (K-12) offers over 230 websites, games, contests, camps, and more, all organized by age and interest, as well as a section dedicated to resources and activities for girls.

Engineer Your Life
Northrop Grumman has a program to encourage high school girls to consider engineering as a career.

A World In Motion - Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
SAE International's A World In Motion® (AWIM) is a teacher-administered, industry volunteer-assisted program that brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to life in the classroom for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Don Robins, a GM retiree, is the coordinator in Arizona. Seven schools in the area are involved in AWIM.

Arizona Science Olympiad
This is a statewide tournament between teams of 15 students from high schools competing in 25 different events.

Arizona Science and Engineering Fair
This event is typically held in April of each year.

Index of On-Line STEM Resources
This site has a great listing of on-line STEM resources for students and teachers.

This page updated 7/7/15