We Are All Galaxy Explorers
Federation of Galaxy Explorers, Who We Are:
The Federation of Galaxy Explorers (FOGE) is a Non-Profit 501(c)3 organization who seeks to inspire space-based STEM in our future generation. FOGE currently has the infrastructure to facilitate STEM education and inspiration. The STEMShip, as well as our other programs, promote a fun and engage a dynamic approach to introducing science education targeted to equalize gender, race and demographic communities in STEM career fields. Our programs consist of: Mission Teams, Summer Camps, the Battle of the Rockets, video games and social media targeted toward STEM. An upcoming add-on to our programs is the STEMShip Discovery Center.
FOGE has created programs designed to inspire a future in STEM. The STEMShip Discovery Center is an extension of Galaxy Explorers’ existing programs by providing an interesting and dynamic forum with space focused science activities and curriculum. As students continue in the merit based programs and summer camps, they are mentored in science. In high school, the pilot project for continued mentorship has shown to be successful. Current success in the core program is seen with STEM collegiate graduates all currently working in government STEM careers. The combined effort of educational enrichment, fun and dynamic learning designed to inspire future careers with the mentorship through high school and college has to STEM career choices. Galaxy Explorers focus on this donation is on the Greater Washington DC Metro area with an emphasis on Title 1 schools, to equalize gender and racial participation and grow the next STEM workforce and to be used within the STEMShip and Summer Camps programs to enrich the applied technology use these children are exposed to.
FOGE: A STEM Solution
A STEM solution to both the declining proficiencies and the lack of interest in STEM careers is to inspire and engage the students at a younger age in dynamic and fun STEM activities. Enrichment programs seek not just the brightest students, but all students to engage in dynamic activities that promote STEM careers, science understand, and math correlation. To battle the trend of decline, a combination of educational, industrial, government and societal effort is needed.
FOGE integrates with commercial, government and educational programs in a manner that facilitates STEM learning. For the Commercial and Government entities, it allows employees and volunteers to integrate with students, directly influencing career choice without the overhead of creating a program. In addition, sponsors allow FOGE to go into the school with enrichment programs after school in the form of Mission Teams. Here, Galaxy Explorers acts as a liaison to foster positive STEM growth. Many Mission Team leaders are either corporate or government workers who are building a succession plan of the future STEM workforce.
The elementary and middle school Mission Teams build strong engineering concepts in students using curriculum certified by the Space Foundation. Hands on activities reinforce learning on multiple levels and encourage interest. The high school Mission Team has been in a pilot program and is being duplicated this year. Taught after school by Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) personnel and using FOGE curriculum focusing on engineering concepts such as rockets with robotic payloads, three volunteers instruct one after school program and two summer camps. The programs promote science, engineering and naval interests to high school students. This last few years, students from the pilot project have converted to NRL interns and Mission Team volunteers during their time in college. Three students have gone through the NRL internships and now are full time employees at NRL. This pattern of direct corporate, government and FOGE integration builds a full pipeline of success to the next STEM career force.
FOGE Programs Background
The FOGE programs include an afterschool program using Mission Teams, special activities including Battle of the Rockets, Rocketry and Robotics, and summer camps. Galaxy Explorers’ programs teach six primary themes: Science, Engineering, Rocketry, Robotics, Geosciences, and Space Citizenship. Galaxy Explorers have purchased an old rocket amusement ride to refurbish and make a traveling dynamic display to enhance our programs and engage children in STEM discovery.
Historically, the Moon Base Camp has been in session for 10 years, the Mars Base was introduced in 2012. In 2002, Galaxy Explorers pilot programs began at pilot schools in Colorado, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia, with summer space camp experiences for 150 children. In eight years Galaxy Explorers hosted 12,000 children in 35 summer camps, after school, and evening programs.
The STEM Ship Discovery Center
The Federation of Galaxy Explorers purchased the 42 foot mobile rocket ride for the purpose of converting the Astroliner vehicle into a hands-on STEM training platform from eBay on August 7, 2010. The ownership is free and clear. An initial inspection for this vehicle has occurred at the purchase. This vehicle is structurally sound.
The STEM Ship Discovery Center will work on the concept of making taking an imaginary trip to Mars or the moon to colonize either mission base. This adventure trip will include science planning and discovery in:
- Mission Control Panel
- Life Sciences
- Systems Analysis
Each child will engage in an imaginary trip to colonize the Moon or Mars depending on the module they choose. During the adventure, they will learn what is needed to get to the destination and plan what they will need to do to survive. A secondary theme we use for our programs is to “Arrive, Survive and Thrive”. This program is a targeted exploration of engineering and science concepts. Geography and Geology studies of the destination is introduced by mapping a landing region for their colony. Basic space science and rocketry are introduced to get to the destination. Survival needs of nutrition and food supply studies are then presented. This is an exploration on what it would be like to work in a Mission Control Room and Base exploration.
Essentials in science discovery, science use and methods, and application are delivered with the STEMShip. The use of science application with role playing and tactile interaction creates a deeper level of learning and associates science and math with fun. This is designed to create a powerful sense of belonging to the science world and point students at formative years to the dream of working in a STEM career.