A collaborative research effort between the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) and the Space Physics and the Atmospheric Research Center (SPARC), located at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), has resulted in the development of a suite of miniaturized electrostatic analyzers (ESAs). This research effort is currently on the development of fifth generation charged particle detectors which include the Flat Plasma Spectrometer (FlaPS) and Canary, which have flight heritage, and the Energetic Electrostatic Analyzer (EESA) which is currently at the laboratory prototype stage. The implementation of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to fabricate the silicon wafer sensor heads used in the ESA design has enabled the development of plasma spectrometers that are low mass and consume little power, while still maintaining the performance capability of current state-of-the art instruments. This shift towards the aggressive miniaturization of charged particle detectors, coupled with the increasing capability of ever smaller satellite vehicles, has led to an increase in science mission opportunities. Through the course of this research program the cadets working at the SPARC have been engaged across a broad range of academic disciplines such as physics, computer science, astronautics, electrical and mechanical engineering. This program has allowed undergraduate students to participate in advanced research as they develop into the next generation of scientists and engineers.