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Rocket Lab’s STEM programme reaches 20,000 kids, expands to US

Peter Griffin, Editor. 27 April 2023, 7:26 am

Nasdaq-listed Rocket Lab emerged in Aotearoa before we even had a space industry to speak of.

But Rocket Lab is looking to build a pipeline of engineers and tech professionals for the future with its Space Ambassadors programme having now reached 20,000 New Zealand children, the company said this week.

With a substantial US production presence and the ability to launch rockets from its Virginia-based Launch Complex 2, in addition to its primary launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula, Rocket Lab is expanding its STEM programme to the US.

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Schools in more than half of all US states have registered for the Space Ambassadors programme, Rocket Lab said. Internationally, around 600 schools have registered, with an estimated reach of one million students.

Since it launched Space Ambassadors, Rocket Lab has trained 129 of its engineers and technicians to provide interactive educational experiences for students, from “building bottle rockets and breaking down orbital mechanics, to understanding materials science and talking space career pathways”.

277 schools and community organisations have now participated in a Space Ambassador event, with 43% classified as ‘low decile’ or from high-deprivation communities.

Around half of all students engaged in Rocket Lab’s STEM education activities and programs were girls or identified as female. Of the teachers engaged in the programme, 78% were from low decile schools while 64% identified as women.

In the US, Rocket Lab has also joined a new coalition of space companies, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, for the U.S. Government’s the Interagency Roadmap to Support Space-Related STEM Education and Workforce.

You can find out more about Rocket Lab Space Ambassadors here.


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David Lane 28 April 2023, 1:02 pm

Is Rocketlab really worthy of our admiration?

David Lane 28 April 2023, 1:19 pm

The real questions we should be asking:

1. why are we dependent on corporations to fund worthy programmes like this?

2. why are we helping corporations to achieve 'PR' victories simply by using a negligible fraction of their ethically dubious profits to fund something like this?

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