Supporting the Next Generation in STEM
Rocket Software was founded on the belief that innovation and technology have the power to create change in the world and create legendary results. This change can happen at any level, from small, personal aspirations to worldwide developments. At Rocket, we strive to develop technology and programs that drive and power these innovative changes. And we are constantly searching for ways to inspire the individuals who may spark innovations through initiatives like Rocket.Build, internship programs and Rocket’s Centers of Excellence. That’s why we’re invested in supporting the next generation of innovators in STEM.
Meet the NOVA Rocket Stars
Some of the best representatives of this next generation can be found in the NOVA Rocket Stars. These future engineers, designers, and rocket scientists come from schools across Northern Virginia, from Irving Middle School, Nativity Catholic Middle School and the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. They are also the students that Rocket has chosen to sponsor for NASA’s Student Launch competition.
Up for the Challenge
In its twentieth year, the Student Launch is a research-based, competitive and experiential exploration activity. The top twenty-five teams in the Team America Rocketry Challenge were given a mentor training opportunity and an invitation to this year’s competition, which was how NOVA Rocket Stars came to compete for the first time.
The competition kicked off in October 2019 and consisted of a series of professional engineering procedures, all of which are completed in real life by NASA rocket scientists when they create their new projects. These include building and launching a subscale rocket, completing a preliminary design review, developing a preliminary design presentation and performing a critical design review. The event culminates on April 4, 2020 in Huntsville, Alabama, where students will launch their custom-built, high-powered rockets to an altitude of between 3,500 to 5,500 feet. These rockets are complex and incredibly built. Their mission isn’t to get to space, but to get more students and youth involved in and engaged with STEM. For the students, who are already actively involved in STEM and community initiatives, this is a unique opportunity to meet and learn from NASA engineers and scientists while designing and building a working rocket.
Inspiring the Next Generation
For students, being involved in something like this—something that gives them agency and teaches them that they have the power to create change—can be life-changing. It can spur creativity and help them pave their future plans. Through real-life experiences provided by the Student Launch, NASA is giving students the skills necessary to continue in STEM careers–and maybe even send the next generation of astronauts into space.
The NOVA Rocket Stars and all of the Student Launch competitors are ambitions, inventive and determined. They are the future of leadership, innovation, invention and talent. For Rocket, this sponsorship has given us the unique opportunity to support future growth and to power legendary results in the technology industry. As the NOVA Rocket Stars continue through the stages of this program and near the rocket launch date, we’re proud to be behind them every step of the way.