Chris, Hopefully someone more familiar with USAFA will step up and answer this. I assume it is basically the same as USNA. For USNA, it is almost as hard to get accepted for NASS as it is to get accepted to the Academy. NASS gives "points" for attending and then candidates are evaluated which the admissions board looks at. So for NASS, the answer is yes, if you do well.
You will apply to the summer seminar around April of your Junior year in high school I believe. I am not sure on the exact date, but the academy web site should have that answer. I applied and was accepted to summer seminar in 2004 and they said that about half the people who attended also receive appointments to the academy. They also said that it doesn't hurt your chances if you do not attend the summer seminar. Out of my flight, I think about 8 or so of us received appointments out of around 15 so about half. It is worth a try to attend, but if you don't get in it is not the end of your chances for the academy.
Your element leader writes up a short evaluation of everyone. As long as you aren't a moron at SS, it cannot hurt. I do not know who actually sees the evaluation though. (This is what I heard at SS 2005)
raimus, Logic would conclude that it become a part of your application package. Why would the Academy waste a golden opportunity ot evaluate a potential candidate. I do know that it is weighted as a part of the application at USNA.
My son applied to SS in Jan 2006, a week later he received a phone call from his ALO. They spent nearly a hour on the phone. One week after the phone call, he received an email that he was in. My son's friend who is the #1 in the class and had the same PSAT score got his email the next day after he submitted his application.
What my son said they told him at SS, first the will be looked at first. This would seem to be true because the applications were loaded before they went to SS. Second, 40 plus percent will be in the incoming class. Third, not everyone who went to SS will be accepted, but a high percentage will be, single biggest show stopper is medical issues.