The National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE) announced recently that it has selected the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) as the recipients of the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Aerospace Education Award, in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the field of aerospace education. The awards presentation event will be announced within the coming month.
In 1995 NCASE established the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Jr. Award to honor Dr. Strickler and recognize individuals or organizations sharing his personal commitment and lifelong contributions to aerospace education. Dr. Strickler promoted aerospace education for more than 55 years and is considered the “father” of aerospace education.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) are recognized for partnering to create and sustain the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) and for making it the world’s largest rocketry-based student aerospace challenge and education program. This program, now in its fourteenth year, has enrolled nearly 9,000 US teams with more than 50,000 7th through 12th grade students from all 50 states in an engineering design and flying challenge event. The event uses model rocketry and a national network of volunteer adult mentors to teach principles of aerospace engineering and to inspire students toward aerospace careers through the safe excitement of rocket flight.
More than eighty percent of the student participants surveyed say that their participation increased their interest in pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Science (STEM) course of study and career. The event has now spread to four other nations, and an international championship involving each nation’s best team is held each year at the Paris or Farnborough Air Shows, providing the highest possible level of positive international visibility and impact for this youth activity.
“We are honored for the TARC program to be recognized by the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler, Jr. Aerospace Education Leadership Award,” said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher. “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with the National Association of Rocketry, the contributions of our industry sponsors, and the hundreds of volunteer mentors who work with students across the country. Together we are demonstrating to tomorrow’s workforce that a career in our industry will provide remarkable opportunities to work on challenging and rewarding programs.”
“TARC is about paying forward to youth of the next generation so that they can share our passion for aerospace and be inspired to pursue studies and careers that will sustain America’s global technological leadership position in the field,” stated Trip Barber, TARC co-founder and NAR TARC Manager
The National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education is pleased that such outstanding candidates have been chosen to receive this year’s Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Aerospace Education Award.