STEM & College Opportunities in JROTC
The Flight Academy Scholarship Program is an Air Force-level initiative in collaboration with the commercial aviation industry to address the national civilian and military pilot shortage. The Flight Academy allows aspiring young aviators to get their Private Pilot’s Certification (a $20,000 value) and a college transcript, at no cost, during an eight-week summer course at partner universities. Those who participate in the program do not incur a military commitment to the Air Force or other branch of service, nor does complete the program guarantee acceptance into one of the military’s commissioning programs. For this year, from 1,340 cadet applications, 230 Air Force Junior ROTC cadets received the scholarship from Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC. The cadets were assessed corporately as the “whole person” and boarded by grade. There are only 5 graded areas: 1. Physical Fitness (10%), 2. Life Experiences (10%), 3. Aviation Experiences (10%), 4. Recommendations (25%), and 5. Aviation Qualification Test results (45%).
Cyber Academy is an opportunity for AFJROTC cadets to attend an “online” Cyber college course at select public/private universities during the summer of 2021. The Cyber Academy is designed to generate interest in a vital (and valuable) skillset that our country is lacking and we want to both identify un-tapped aptitude and also reward cadets who have taken the first steps to develop their skills. Selected cadets will be identified through a competitive, multi-phased, boarding process. The scholarship funds one college course which will award approximately three college credit hours upon successful completion. The scholarship may provide cadets an opportunity to test for Cyber or IT industry certifications. This year’s program will be open to all AFJROTC units and cadets. Approximately 100 cadets will be selected to attend one of up to five universities. Applicants must be a current sophomore, junior, or senior AFJROTC cadets who understand they are volunteering for a scholarship to a public/private university. There is no military service commitment or obligation, nor does program completion signify acceptance to military service, ROTC scholarship, or military academy appointment. Applicants must obtain a minimum fitness assessment score of 50 and have a minimum cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0 to be nominated. Finally, applicants should have a strong interest in Cyber or IT, a strong academic record, and, of course, a “never-quit” attitude.
Four-year ROTC college scholarship opportunities have just been enhanced. Headquarters Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (HQ AFJROTC), in conjunction with Air University (AU) and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC), is proud to announce the establishment of a new, annual ROTC scholarship program which recognizes the character and leadership developed in AFJROTC. This effort makes pursuing a commission in the United States Air Force while earning a college degree a reality for many cadets in the Air Force’s most diverse program. The J-100 AFJROTC Character-in-Leadership Scholarship (J-100) will provide 100 cadets a full four-year ROTC college scholarship, including room and board, at select Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI). Students must meet both academic and physical fitness standards. The program utilizes an established ROTC scholarship application process with finalists meeting a Leadership Evaluation Board (LEB), a panel interview to determine the final scholarship awards. Selected cadets choose a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) college or university on an approved list. There are no specific technical degree requirements, but up to 25% of cadets may access technical degrees. This opportunity is available to HS Seniors who are Current Academic Year ACTIVE AFJROTC cadets and have completed two years of JROTC before graduation. Cadets must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, a strong PFT (physical fitness) score, and an ACT/SAT of 22/1100 or above.
The United States Air Force Academy is a military academy for officer cadets of the United States Air Force and the United States Space Force located immediately north of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Our JROTC unit coordinates closely with Ed Bishop, the Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) for our area. He is a graduate of the AFA and will help you through the process of applying to the Academy. He generally likes to meet the applicants and their families in-person to answer questions about the application process, life at the AF Academy, and life in the US Air Force. Selection to a service academy is very competitive, but those selected receive free education from one of the top academic institutions in the country and an officer’s commission into the US Air Force or Space Force upon graduation. Selection is based on academic performance and ACT/SAT scores, extracurricular participation, fitness, leadership, an interview, and writing samples.
Extracurricular STEM activities (Leadership Development Requirement or LDR activities)
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of high school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services. The top teams in the nation earn all-expenses-paid trips to Maryland for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.
StellarXplorers is a challenging, space system design competition involving all aspects of system development and operation with a spacecraft and payload focus. StellarXplorers provides specific training in the use of system simulation software, Systems Tool Kit (STK) as well as an online textbook as a curriculum supplement and study resource for online “team” Quizzes given during the competition. The actual competition is accomplished from the team’s home location. Teams are given a scenario describing the system’s mission and constraints and they provide a solution to a typical space design problem, such as orbit determination, satellite component selection, and launch vehicle planning.
Model Rocketry program provides an opportunity for cadets to learn the basic principles of aerospace rocketry. During the program, the cadets get the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and perform in appointed team positions. The objective of the 2020 challenge is to design, build, and fly a safe and stable model rocket to an altitude of exactly 800 feet while also achieving a total flight duration of between 40 and 43 seconds and returning a payload of one raw hen’s egg undamaged in a rocket whose various sections all return safely and connected together.
Academic Bowl is an ACT/SAT preparation competition. Each JROTC program can select up to two teams of four cadets and two alternates. Teams compete on a timed online examination. The seven-part quiz reflects questions from the ACT and SAT college entrance exams plus questions from JROTC, personal finance, and current events. The top 50 percent of teams from the level one competition go on to compete at level two. After the level two competition, the top teams from each division travel to Washington DC to compete in the finals.
Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is an unmanned aerial vehicle, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. Some examples of UAS are multi-copters and r/c aircraft. The intent of these systems is to reinforce science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused objectives and enhance the AFJROTC Aerospace Science curriculum or Leadership Development Requirement (LDR) activities. They are not provided for personal or private use and are operated in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restrictions, local laws, and ordinances.