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AEDP emerged from the activities of its founder John Rossie, dating as far back as 1982. At that time a founding member of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), Mr. Rossie served as the Chairman for Education, Rocky Mountain Chapter of SSPI from 1982 through 1986. Additionally, Mr. Rossie was involved in local outreach programs often in conjunction with satellite teleconferences of SSPI meetings. During that time, he was active in presentations to local grade schools and high schools on topics ranging from satellite communications to general aerospace. The purpose of these programs and presentations, and the charter of AEDP, is to increase the awareness and interest in areas of math and science.
In 1984, upon the start-up of the original Young Astronaut Program (YAP), Mr. Rossie became more involved in bring the message of aerospace sciences to local grade school levels, primarily grades 3 through 6. At that time, AEDP was an unincorporated entity. Under sponsorship of the Martin Marietta Company, AEDP became the representative for the Young Astronaut Program in Colorado and Wyoming, helping to start dozens of local YAP chapters and providing presentations and resources procured from major aerospace firms. AEDP also developed aerospace education lesson plans that have been utilized nation-wide. One of the exciting aspects in early AEDP activities involved field trips and tours for middle school and high school students to high-tech facilities in the Denver area, including the Martin-Marietta facility south of Littleton and the Ball Aerospace Division in Boulder.
Mr. Rossie's background includes work with communication satellites and other elements of terrestrial-based telecommunication systems, as well as marketing of launch vehicles and payload assembly. He has been involved with efforts in the privatization of the space industry since the mid-1980s including work on the development team for Global Outpost, Inc., an effort to re-use expended external tanks of the Space Shuttle.
Rossie holds Master's Degrees in Philosophy (MA), Telecommunications (MS) and Business Administration (MBA) and has instructed courses in undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in a variety of fields.
A list of AEDP highlighted projects includes: