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Classic Aero-TV: AIA's Audrey Koehler -- Launching Our Next Generation (Part 1)

From 2010 (YouTube Version): Recrafting The Future of Aerospace

Recent publications from the Aerospace Industries Association note that, "America’s requirement for workers who are well educated in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is falling far short of anticipated need. Trends are discouraging, and interest is lacking among American youth.

We simply aren’t producing enough engineers and non-engineering technical workers, such as hands-on manufacturing labor. Without dramatic change, these needs will go unmet, the future of the American aerospace industry will be bleak and the consequences for the nation will be extreme."

The Aerospace Industries Association of America (AIA) was founded in 1919, only a few years after the birth of flight. Since then, their mission has taken on myriad forms, but their efforts each year to attract the best and brightest to careers in Aerospace via the Team America Rocketry Challenge are potentially some of the farthest reaching. Through TARC, they not only inspire today's youth to the look to the stars, but they help to craft a future for them and a nation.

ANN had the chance to sit down with Audrey Koehler, Manager, of the 2010 Team America Rocketry Challenge to see how this amazing competition got its start, how it is conducted and what the future holds. The challenge changes from year to year...

This year, student teams were challenged to design, build and launch a model rocket to an altitude of 825 feet with a flight time of 40-45 seconds, as well as return a raw egg payload to the ground unbroken without a parachute. The contest is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry.

Lockheed Martin Corporation provides $5,000 scholarships to each of the top three teams, and the top 20 teams also received an invitation from NASA to participate in its Student Launch Initiative, an advanced rocketry program.

Other sponsors include the Defense Department, the American Association of Physics Teachers and AIA member companies. AIA created the Team America Rocketry Challenge in 2003 to celebrate the centennial of flight and to generate interest in aerospace careers among young people. Since its inception, more than 50,000 youths have participated in the contest.



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