Lady Rocket Foundation launches its Space Inspiration Program for students in Croatia

Oct 24 / 2021
The Lady Rocket Foundation and Ivan Gundulić Elementary School from Zagreb, Croatia, partnered up in an educational project called "Croatia Space Inspiration Program – CroSIP.
The Lady Rocket Foundation (USA) and Ivan Gundulić Elementary School from Zagreb, Croatia, partnered up in an educational project called "Croatia Space Inspiration Program – CroSIP". Created to inspire children around the world at an early age to be involved in space, the NASA-JPL certified program that provides hands-on space education for children kicked off on October 6th, 2021, and will last for two months through October and November.

The aim of the project is to introduce children to space and STEM through a modified NASA-JPL program that includes activities focused on space and Mars education through workshops and experiments designed for elementary school children. During the program, classes from participating countries partner up, share their results and learn how to communicate with students all over the world, sharing their interests and passion for space.

For Croatia, this is the start of the first generation of attendees in the Lady Rocket Foundation's Space Inspiration Program. Ivan Gundulić Elementary School will set the example for the first such collaboration and provide the basis for future collaborations. It is also the first NASA JPL-based educational program in Croatia, attracting 120 children and 7 classes in the school, grades 1-5.

Lady Rocket Foundation’s mission is to ignite a passion for space through innovation in entrepreneurship development, education, arts, media, and space-related research. Their activities are aimed at making space more relevant on Earth by championing and initiating space innovations that improve our lives and humanity on Earth before we occupy space.

Teacher Nika Gutić, who is leading the implementation of the program in the Ivan Gundulić Elementary school, expressed her excitement in engaging in this program.
I am looking forward to new challenges in the Croatia Space Inspiration Program - CroSIP, an interesting and innovative program that will bring space science closer to students. They will enrich their learning content with interesting new topics about space and the earth in a completely new way. The program encourages a number of competencies, the ability to think analytically and innovate, active learning, creativity, critical thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit. They will communicate in English and meet new cultures and friends. Some students may decide on a future career.

I am honored to participate in the NASA project in Croatia for the first time and to present content about space to students through interesting workshops. Thanks to the Lady Rocket Foundation for co-financing us and educating teachers so that we can better implement the program in our school.
—Nika Gutić
Eva “Lady Rocket” Blaisdell, founder of the Lady Rocket Foundation, supports this program in Croatia.
As the founder of the Lady Rocket Foundation, I am very excited about launching our "Mars Inspiration" program at the Ivan Gundulic Elementary School in Zagreb. I am happy to share our American passion for Space with young students in Zagreb. At the same time, we recognize Croatia as an important partner of the US, as demonstrated by the recent American visa program and visits of prominent US officials.

—Eva 'Lady Rocket' Blaisdell
Susan Coupland, the co-founder of the Lady Rocket Foundation and 22 years veteran of California – Lompoc school district, developed the program collaborating with NASA JPL in Pasadena, CA. The launch of the foundation began with Susan Coupland’s and Eva Blaisdell’s participation with Lompoc students in the NASA ULA Mars rocket launch on May 5th, 2018 from Vandenberg Space Base. Since then the foundation has launched multiple programs around the world and continues on that tradition by launching the first space education program for children in Croatia. I am looking forward to building a long-term relationship with the school and other schools in Croatia, which I visited as a young student. The Lady Rocket Foundation is looking to collaborate with Mike Fleming, our acting American Ambassador in Croatia, NASA, American and Croatian companies, the Mars Society, and local media to help us expand our programs and activities in Croatia. It includes planned visits of our American and Croatian students, space and art, music, and space entrepreneurship programs.

The launch of the program at the Ivan Gundulić Elementary School is just the beginning of the Foundation’s work within Croatia which will be followed by the initiative to introduce the program into other Croatian schools, and connect them with other schools around the world who are participating in the program for direct collaboration between the students. Such collaborations have already been executed such as the one between students in Lithuania and Lompoc in 2019/2020. With a successful and growing program, the Lady Rocket Foundation looks to scale up its implementation across more countries and students globally.