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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 Gitika know that the car ride would be the moment she would start 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 the space education opportunities that she was blessed with in middle school?

The conversation with her father made Gitika think bigger. She previously didn't think about how other kids her age or even older never got the opportunity to build or see rockets flying or to that matter, be exposed to the aerospace industry. Gitika realized how fortunate she was for her middle school rocketry club that ignited her passion for the aerospace industry and gave her the confidence to pursue an aerospace career.

 

The inner Girl Scout in Gitika came out and she became determined to foster the middle school aerospace experience she had for every student around the world. Everybody deserves a chance; space is a revolutionizing industry, and every individual deserves a chance at being a part of this wonderful industry. That was the moment IgnitedThinkers was founded. 

Gitika's vision is to bring hands-on aerospace education into all classrooms and to highlight the diverse, interdisciplinary career opportunities in the aerospace industry. IgnitedThinkers is working towards the ultimate goal of inspiring, informing, and igniting the passions of all students in aerospace.

About IgnitedThinkers Founder and CEO

Gitika Gorthi

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Gitika Gorthi is the founder and CEO of IgnitedThinkers. Gitika is a freshman attending Columbia University in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences as a C. Prescott Davis Scholar, aspiring to be an aerospace physician and medical researcher.

Gitika's passion for aerospace sparked at an after-school Rocketry club she joined in 7th grade at Rachel Carson Middle School under the guidance of her TechEd teacher, Mr. Alan Anderson. Mr. Anderson is an experienced rocketeer, with a license not many TechEd teachers possess. Through the club, Gitika fell in love with aerospace and would spend 2-4 hours every day after school with Mr. Anderson to design, construct, and fly various model rocket designs.

 
After gaining experience with model rocketry, Gitika started her journey in NARTREK, a model rocket certification program. She is currently finished the Mercury and Gemini level and is working on her high-power rocket license. While earning her NARTREK badges in 8th and 9th grade, Gitika also aided Mr. Anderson in teaching the middle school Rocketry Club. During this time, Gitika realized how much she loved teaching others space education and seeing the students' smiles light up after a successful launch or understanding a difficult concept. She helped 20+ students in her middle school earn their Mercury certifications and continuously works to inspire students to pursue aerospace careers.

Realizing the large gap in space education in schools, Gitika founded IgnitedThinkers to spread space education to all students, and provide the middle school rocketry club experience she had to every student around the world through various initiatives. Gitika believes age is not a boundary to make a difference, and she wants to give every kid an opportunity to experience and ignite their love for the aerospace industry just as she did.

Everyone deserves the receive an opportunity, and Gitika's goal through IgnitedThinkers is to provide access to aerospace education for all students to have the space to ignite their passion for the aerospace industry.

 

One of Many Model Rocket Launches