AFJROTC cadets reach StellarXplorers semifinals

BGHS cadets competing in the StellarXplorers competitionA team of Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) cadets from Battle Ground High School reached the semifinal round of StellarXplorers, a national space system design competition. The BGHS cadets placed 17th overall out of 280 teams from JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and STEM school programs across the United States.

Led by team captain Cadet Braden Morrison and mentored by Senior Aerospace Science Instructor Lt. Col. (ret) Andy Woodrow, the team includes cadets Ethan Tawwater, Wyatt Moody, and Seamus O’Neil. This is the third year BGHS cadets have participated in the event, and this year’s team is the first to reach the semifinal round.

To compete, the cadets completed three 6-hour satellite launch simulations using software and techniques developed for NASA and other commercial space exploration programs. Cadets also took an exam covering space operations.

“The tasks are aligned with our curriculum in Exploration of Space, but the team must really dig into their math skills, understanding of space payloads, and time management during the competition in order to be successful,” Lt. Col. Woodrow said. The team learned this week that they had reached the semifinals.
StellarXplorers was developed by the Air Force Association to inspire and motivate high school students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM fields. Visit for more information about the program.


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