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.