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National CAP AE Teacher of the Year Award

CAP's National Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award

K-12 teachers, we want YOU to nominate yourself or a peer for the CAP National AE Teacher of the Year award!  You can teach any grade level and any subject at any public or private school! It is hoped that if you do not teach aerospace education, you do integrate aerospace/STEM topics in your curriculum, or, teach it as an after-school or enrichment program!


The 2021 National AE Teacher of the Year is Patrick D. Carter, nominated by the Indiana Wing.  Mr Patrick Carter has distinguished himself by the exceptional use of aerospace education to enrich the teaching of traditional science at New Tech Institute in Evansville, Indiana. He has taught physics, advanced physics, honors physics, and principals of engineering at New Tech Institute since August 2011.   Read more HERE.

The 2020 National AE Teacher of the Year, Lt. Col. James Peace, was from Michael R. Null Middle School in Houston, TX.  Lt. Col. Peace (a uniformed CAP member of SWR-TX-808, East Houston Cadet Squadron) is also Mr. Peace, a middle school teacher who provides STEM and robotics programs to not only his middle school students, but to local elementary students (and their families)!  Find out all he has done to promote CAP and aerospace/STEM subjects on the following video (with photos in the last section of the informational video).


Instructions for Nomination:

Individual teachers can nominate themselves or a teacher can be nominated by a peer or anyone else.  Electronic nomination packages should be submitted by January 15 of each year to the educator's state (Wing) Director of AE (see DAE contact info HERE)---or, if uncertain, send, to, and the package will be forwarded to the appropriate Wing DAE for you.

DESCRIPTION:  The Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award is a national-level award established to recognize and reward any Civil Air Patrol member who is a certified K-12 classroom teacher for outstanding accomplishments in aerospace/STEM education and for possessing those honorable attributes we expect from American teachers who are inspiring the next generation of aerospace-related STEM citizenry.  Those teachers who go "above and beyond" to ensure exciting and engaging programs are provided their students are especially desiring of recognition!

QUALIFICATIONS:  The nominees for this award must meet the criteria below in order to qualify for this award.

  1. Be a Civil Air Patrol Member- either an AE member or a Senior (uniformed) member who is a K-12 classroom teacher. (If not a member, the quick online membership link for a one-time $35 fee for Aerospace Education Membership is found HERE.)  If more information is desired about benefits of becoming an AE Member of CAP, click HERE.

  2. Be a certified classroom teacher from any grade(s), K-12, in any public, private, charter, or parochial school.

  3. Teach aerospace education as a subject or use aerospace education to enrich the teaching of traditional subjects.

  4. Set high standards for teaching by integrating exceptional aerospace-related STEM activities and/or programs.

  5. Strive to improve personal academic/professional competence and teaching ability.

  6. Demonstrate creativity in developing and utilizing materials to enhance the teaching of aerospace-related STEM subjects.

  7. Share expertise with other educators on a local, state, and/or national level.

  8. Maximize student involvement and classroom activities to improve student learning OR develop a one-time project or program of such significance that it has a major impact on the teaching of aerospace-related STEM education.

AWARD ELEMENTS:  The recipient will receive a $1000 cash award, a commemorative plaque, and free room/ attendance to the Civil Air Patrol’s Summer National Conference for presentation at the conference awards banquet.  As available, the recipient will also be invited to be a guest at the *Dayton Teachers Air Camp during the summer following the national conference presentation. (*Camp dates in June announced each spring.)

*2018 National CAP Aerospace Educator of the Year attends Dayton Air Camp with National AFA Aerospace Educator of the Year.  (2019-2021 Teachers of the Year have been unable to attend due to COVID restrictions.)

PROCEDURES:  Download the Aerospace Educator Teacher of the Year nomination form.  Complete all sections of the award nomination form and the additional pages on the instructions.  Compile all pages in one pdf document and submit, as noted above, by January 15.   For any assistance, please contact Aerospace Education at



CAP's National K-6 ACE Program Awards

CAP's unique K-6th grade Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) program also recognizes a National ACE Teacher of the Year, as well as an ACE School of the Year and ACE Student of the Year awards.  ACE accepts national award nominations during April each year from ACE teachersNational ACE awards are recognized by the end of May of each year.  Award grants are provided for ACE Awards by the Air Force Association. The most recent national awards extended into several additional "special awards" and the entire list is found HERE. Award nomination forms are found in right column of related links, HERE.


2021 National AFA/Rolls Royce Teachers of the Year (See AFA TOY award info HERE.)

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