Bryan DeBates administers the development and implementation of the Space Foundation's global education programs that support science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education. This includes establishing project goals and developing education programs, including the popular Discover the Universe field trips and the Space in the Community outreach program. He oversees the Space Foundation's Discovery Center space museum and education center in Colorado Springs, and its education labs, which include: Science On a Sphere®, Mars Robotics Laboratory and AGI Space Missions Simulation Laboratory.
Prior to starting his position as an Elementary Education Specialist at the Space Foundation in 2006, DeBates taught 5th grade at Timberwilde Elementary in San Antonio, Texas, and Title I math and reading at Ipswich Elementary in Ipswich, South Dakota. He has also been an adjunct professor at Adams State University and Colorado State University-Pueblo.
DeBates has been honored for his achievements in education through numerous awards, including being named the 2018 recipient of the Millicent M. Atkins School of Education Award by Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Frank J. Malina Astronautics Medal, presented by the International Astronautical Federation. Other awards include:
- Colorado Air Force Association's Colorado Medal of Merit, 2016
- Aerospace Education Foundation Christa McAuliffe Memorial Award National Finalist, 2006
- Air Force Association's Alamo Chapter Christa McAuliffe Memorial Award Winner, 2006
- Air Force Association's Alamo Chapter Teacher of the Year, 2005
- Texas A & M's Educators Shape the Future Award Winner, 2004
- Time Warner Cable's National Crystal Apple Award Winner, 2003
- Citation in the National Congressional Record for accomplishments in and contributions to education, 2003
- Timberwilde Elementary Teacher of the Year, 2000
In 2004, DeBates was inducted into the Space Foundation's inaugural class of Teacher Liaisons, and he has participated in the Zero-G Weightless Flights of Discovery.
DeBates earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and was selected as an Academic All-American football player in 1992. In 2006, he earned a Master's in Education degree, with an emphasis in space science education leadership, from Regis University, Denver, Colorado.