All-Girl Rocketry Team Answers Presidential Call for Increased Female Engagement in STEM

Students showcase rockets for President Obama at fourth White House Science Fair

Washington, D.C. – Team Rocket Power, an all-girl team from Maryland that competed in the 2014 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), exhibited their rockets for President Obama at the White House Science Fair this morning. The three-girl team was invited to join the White House’s celebration of a range of national programs that encourage students to engage and excel in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

This year’s Fair hosts students from a number of competitions across the country and there is a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM-related fields and inspiring younger students with their work. Tenth graders Jasmyn Logan and Nia’mani Robinson and high school senior Rebecca Chapin-Ridgley are doing just that.

“These girls have truly answered the President’s call for closing the gap for women and other underrepresented groups to excel in STEM-related fields,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “This is the fourth year one of our teams has been invited to participate in the White House Science Fair and the second all-girl team to exhibit. I think this speaks volumes of the positive influence STEM programs like TARC have on our future workforce.”

Representing Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland, Team Rocket Power was one of 18 all-girl TARC teams in this year’s competition. The 2014 TARC competition challenged students to design and build a rocket that could fly to 825 feet and back within 48 to 50 seconds while carrying precious cargo — two raw eggs that must return to the ground undamaged with the assistance of two parachutes.

TARC has proven to be an invaluable source of inspiration over its 12-year history, attracting young talent to STEM-focused areas of study and, ultimately, careers. A 2010 survey of TARC alumni found that 80 percent of respondents went on to major in related technical fields. Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and more than 20 industry partners, TARC provides middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets in an annual competition among more than 5,000 students nationwide.