Mar 14, 2022–SystemsGo, the Fredericksburg, Texas-based high school STEM rocketry program, has received a grant in the amount of $5,000 from Science Applications International Corporation’s (SAIC) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Employee Resource Group. The funds are earmarked to support the Southeast Texas launch site at Smith Point, where high school students will send up 50 rockets they designed and built as part of the SystemsGo program, according to Scott Netherland, Executive Director of SystemsGo.
“SAIC has partnered with SystemsGo and supported our high school student launches for many years,” Netherland said. “Not only with financial support, but Joyce Abbey has served as ‘The Voice’ of SystemsGo and helped us recruit schools and volunteers from the Houston area. We are indeed grateful for the sustained friendship and financial support of SAIC, whose giving goals align so well with this program that prepares students for the future.”
SAIC’s office in Houston, Texas, supplies Safety and Mission Assurance and other technical services for NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) Johnson Space Center, according to Joyce Abbey, External Relations Director.
“Since my first involvement with the launches at the Meek Ranch in Fredericksburg, I have been impressed with SystemsGo,” Abbey said. “I realized this is project-based learning at its very best. These students are coming out of high school with a deep understanding of what processes we go through at SAIC and in the aerospace industry. I have enjoyed watching them blossom over the years.”
Abbey noted that SAIC’s support goes beyond monetary. She and other employees donate their time as volunteers at the launches, in reviewing rocket construction at Houston-area schools, and bringing in SystemsGo students for summer internships.
“Our opportunity to engage with students fulfills another part of our STEM employee resource group mission, to create a pipeline of future employees in this industry,” said Abbey, who serves as “the voice” of the launches for attendees and on livestreams. “I want to know that I can bring some of our engineers to volunteer and mentor students, give them an opportunity to ask questions, while showing students there is somebody who looks like you working here.”
In 2022, SystemsGo will host three launch sites in Texas and one in Colorado, and provide technical support for SystemsGo New Mexico. Dates and locations are:
April 26-28, 2022
Jal, New Mexico
April 28-29, 2022
North Texas/Jack County
May 2, 2022
U.S. Army Fort Carson Colorado
May 5-7, 2022
Southeast Texas/Smith Point
May 12-14, 2022
Most events will be livestreamed, and the public will have limited access. Information, directions, and links at www.systemsgo.org.