NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation are partnering to support and encourage Girl Scout councils and troops with amateur rocket activities and the opportunity to compete in the American Rocketry Challenge. With additional support from the National Association of Rocketry and Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) middle and high school Girl Scouts will have access to meaningful skill-building experiences and gain insight into potential career paths.
Through this partnership, Girl Scouts will strengthen important STEM skills and techniques needed to build rockets, work on teams, and problem solve—critical, foundational learning for the next generation of female leaders in the aerospace industry and broader STEM workforce.
Sport rocketry is aerospace engineering on a smaller scale. This increasingly popular hobby and educational tool dates back to 1957, when it was developed to offer a safe and inexpensive way for younger generations to learn design, creation, and other key principles of rocket flight. With young women continuing to be underrepresented in aerospace and STEM careers, GSUSA and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation are committed to ensuring girls across the country are able to explore these innovative interest areas.
Data collected by the American Rocketry Challenge shows that participants have gone on to have diverse careers in various STEM fields. It also illustrates the need to encourage girls to pursue these interests starting at a young age. Starting this fall, councils will have access to the tools curated by GSUSA, the American Rocketry Challenge, and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation, including guidance and materials for designing model rocketry experiences—e.g., building teams, recruiting volunteers and subject matter experts, fundraising, competitive verses non-competitive opportunities, and more to help troops explore the dynamic world of rocketry and aerospace engineering.
"We're thrilled that councils and troops across the U.S. can access these amazing tools to bring sport rocketry to life with their girls," said GSUSA Interim CEO Judith Batty. "We're deeply grateful to GSUSA Board member Eileen Drake, CEO and president of Aerojet Rocketdyne, for identifying this unique opportunity to build on Girl Scouts' already extensive STEM programming. As our middle school and high school girls begin to imagine their future career paths, Girl Scouts is here to arm them with valuable resources and impactful hands-on activities that allow them to experiment, push boundaries, and learn valuable skills. These experiences will prepare so many girls to do more than just build model rockets; they'll gain a deeper understanding of gravity, principles of flight, aerodynamics, and how to problem solve under pressure."
Since being appointed to serve on GSUSA's Board of Directors in January 2020, Drake has been instrumental in identifying the role these organizations can play in supporting our nation's growing needs for a broadening STEM workforce and female leadership.
Guidance and resources will be available to councils and troops beginning November 1. Interested Girl Scout troops can sign up to compete in the American Rocketry Challenge, the world's largest annual rocket contest, for a chance to win $100,000 in prizes. Teams of youth in grades 6-12 will work together in the same way aerospace engineers do. Competing teams will experience the engineering process and compete in qualifying flights with thousands of peers across the country for the opportunity to participate in a "Final Fly-off" event in May 2022. The top-ranking teams from the finals will receive scholarship prize money and further funding toward their rocketry education. The deadline to register to compete is December 1, 2021.
To learn more about how Girl Scouts can help you discover new strengths, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.
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About Aerojet Rocketdyne
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AJRD), is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion systems and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, and tactical systems areas, in support of domestic and international customers. For more information, visit www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.
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