Inspiring Future Generations to Pursue Careers in Space



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


In 2021, the global space economy reached $469 billion dollars, up 9% from 2020 and expected to reach $1 trillion by the year 2040. With the United States (U.S.) accounting for approximately half of the current global space industry, it is essential that US produces a strong STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) work force. Unfortunately, U.S. students at the pre-college level (K-12) perform below average in math and science on the international scene; the U.S. ranks 38 out of 71 in math and 24 out of 71 in science in the latest PISA rankings (Programee for International Student Assessment). Additionally, the U.S. STEM labor force has disparities with a lower proportion of Women, Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans workers than the proportion of these groups in the U.S. population. To help fill these educational and demographic STEM gaps, Blue Origin founded Club for the Future, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space. Additionally, Blue Origin has internal employee groups that parallel demographic-specific professional societies and Veterans groups. This paper will discuss U.S. educational gaps and disparities in the STEM field and ways that Blue Origin is combating this through public outreach and employee engagement. This includes space-focused curriculum, community engagement, mentoring programs, and partnering with local STEM clubs.


Michael Wales, Blue Origin, USA
Laurinda Bellinger, Blue Origin, USA
Kristen Yip, Blue Origin, USA
Riza Mae Mold, Blue Origin, USA
Barret Schlegelmilch, Blue Origin, USA
Violet Days, Blue Origin, USA
Amalaye Oyake, Blue Origin, USA
Charles Njoka, Blue Origin, USA
ICES307: Collaboration, Education Outreach, and Public Engagement
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Club for the Future, Outreach, Education, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Veterans, Blue Origin