Founding of IgnitedThinkers

January 2018

It all started at a rocket launch site...


The founder of IgnitedThinkers, Gitika Gorthi, was in 7th grade when she went to her first rocket launch held by NOVAAR at Great Meadows to fly her first built model rocket (Alan Anderson, her TechEd teacher from Rachel Carson MS, recommended the place). Gitika was very excited and took her whole family along with her, and they all had the time of their lives seeing many rockets getting launched, and seeing her own model rocket flying high into the sky. After a few hours at the launch site, the family decided to ride back home. Little did I know that car ride would change Gitika's perspective on educational opportunities and would be start of a long journey with IgnitedThinkers. During the ride back home, Gitika's father said, "Gitika, you are very lucky." She was confused at first and asked, "Why?" Her father answered, "At the age of 13, you were able to build and launch a rocket. On top of that, you got to see bigger rockets get launched. Whereas I, saw my first rocket launch at the age of 40 because of my daughter. You are truly lucky to get this opportunity, which many other kids do not get." That struck somewhere hard for Gitika, and that's when her mind started thinking how can she change that... how can every single person in the world receive space education opportunities that she was blessed with.

The conversation with her father made Gitika think bigger. She never thought about how other kids her age or even older never got the opportunity to build or see rockets flying; she realized how lucky she was. Then Gitika started thinking, why? Why can't they get equal opportunities as me? Why? She then determined that will change this. Gitika needs to give every kid an equal opportunity in space education. Everybody deserves a chance; space is a revolutionizing industry, and every person deserves a chance at being apart of this wonderful industry. That is how IgnitedThinkers started. Gitika wanted to make a difference around the globe by giving equal opportunities. It wasn't an easy task to start the organization and make connections with other renowned organizations, but it was a process with lots of growth and development that she does not regret.

Gitika's vision is to connect all organizations around the world together, and create an ecosystem where everyone can come to IgnitedThinkers to find free resources, learn about opportunities, and connect with local organizations and space champions. IgnitedThinkers is working towards the ultimate goal of providing space education to all.​

About IgnitedThinkers Founder and CEO

Gitika Gorthi


Gitika Gorthi is the founder and CEO of IgnitedThinkers. She is currently a 17-year old girl with a desire to give equal opportunities in space education to all children around the world. Gitika is currently a senior attending Chantilly High School in Fairfax County Public Schools located in Northern Virginia. She started rocketry in 7th grade at Rachel Carson Middle School, due to her TechEd teacher, Mr. Alan Anderson. Mr. Anderson is an experienced rocketeer, with a license not many TechEd teachers possess. Gitika learned about model rocketry and furthered her passion for space in middle school through Mr. Anderson with the after-school Rocketry and by spending 2-4 hours after-school with him everyday. It never felt like homework or painful to sit hours in the TechEd room to build rockets, it was an enjoyment that developed very deeply and consumed all her thoughts.
After gaining experience with model rocketry, Gitika started her journey in NARTREK, a certification program in model rocketry that she encourages other students to pursue. She currently finished the Mercury level and is close to finishing the Gemini level. Gitika is now currently working on her high-powered rocket license as well. While earning her NARTREK badges and licenses, Gitika also aided Mr. Anderson in teaching the middle school Rocketry Club in 8th and 9th grade. During this time, Gitika realized how much she loved teaching others space education and seeing the smiles that lit up after a successful launch or understanding a difficult concept. She helped 20 students in her middle school earn their Mercury certification, and even continued to help students even when she was in high school.

Taking her passion to the next level, Gitika founded IgnitedThinkers and now is spreading her passion to students internationally. Gitika believe's age is not a boundary to make a difference, and she wants to give every kid an opportunity to experience and love rocketry like she does.

Everyone deserves to receive an opportunity, and Gitika's goal through IgnitedThinkers is to provide a chance for kids to pursue their dreams with confidence and a support-system.


Gitika's School Rocket Launch