The National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE) 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.
In 1995 NCASE established the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Jr. Award to honor Dr. Strickler, considered the “father of aerospace education,” and recognize individuals or organizations sharing his personal commitment and lifelong contributions to aerospace education.
AIA and NAR are recognized for partnering to create 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 14th year, has enrolled nearly 9,000 U.S. teams with more than 50,000 seventh 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 80% of the students surveyed say 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.