Howard Squadron cadets participated in a number of internal and external Aerospace Education activities over the past month designed to prepare them and others for aerospace related futures. These included STEM training at squadron meetings, external tours and support for engineering competitions.

The unit AE officer, Lt Col Whitehead has been leading the cadets through the Model Rocketry STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) module over recent meetings. This has given that cadets a background education in the physics of propulsion, control and guidance. Cadets have been moving through the program and building more and more complex systems with the goal of launching their own model rockets in the springtime.


On 24 February, cadets and seniors supported the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Paper Airplane Engineering Challenge at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. A dozen members participated as guides, judges and helpers to run the program designed to teach elementary school students the basics of flight. The students then competed in the challenge to see who could build the plane that could fly the longest and highest.

Howard Squadron cadets with winning Paper Airplane Challenge team


Howard Squadron followed up at the next Aerospace Education meeting by providing the opportunity for the cadets to attempt to perform building activities while wearing actual astronaut gloves provided by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. While wearing the gloves, cadets learned how difficult it is for astronauts to pick up and manipulate small objects in a space flight environment. Learning how to fasten and unfasten increasingly smaller nuts and bolts provided the dexterity challenge. Cadets also participated in Optics STEM instruction on the applications of fiber optics and polarized light.


Howard Composite Squadron meets Thursday nights, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., in the cafeteria of Building 1 at the Johns Hopkins University-Applied Physics Laboratory. We invite anyone interested in aerospace education, cadet leadership training or emergency services support to attend a meeting to see if CAP membership is a way for you to serve your community. Youths, ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome to drop by our meetings. Contact information for the Howard Composite Squadron is at .

Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.