Celestial Citizen Ep. #316: Igniting Gen Z
On this week’s episode, we’re joined by the CEO and founder of IgnitedThinkers, Gitika Gorthi. We’ll discuss how space education can extend the reach and impact of the industry, as well as, the best ways to ignite a passion for the cosmos in Gen Z.
Gitika is the founder and CEO of IgnitedThinkers, a non-profit organization that she founded in the 8th-grade to spread space education and her love for aerospace to students across the world. She is an incoming freshman at Columbia University in their College of Engineering and Applied Science as a Davis Scholar. Gitika is an aspiring aerospace physician, medical researcher, and astronaut.
Through IgnitedThinkers, Gitika is working towards breaking the glass ceiling for minorities in the aerospace industry, incorporating more hands-on research space science-based activities into elementary education curriculums, and igniting the passions of all students by providing them the opportunity to explore and create. IgnitedThinkers’ mission and vision statement are simple: to ignite, inform, and inspire students across the world.
Conducting medical research at the Baylor College of Medicine Space Medicine Center, researching wind turbines at the University of Central Florida at Raghavan Research Group, working with professor Dr. Prasanta Pal from Brown University to develop telemedicine technology, student researcher at Columbia Medical School Center for Radiological Research, and interning last summer at NASA Ames Research Center at GeneLab, Gitika is climbing towards her goals going into aerospace medicine research. Gitika is extremely excited about the new understanding studying humans in space will bring to treat diseases here on Earth and the medical technological advancements that will occur on Earth with the greater utilization of telemedicine for deep-space exploration missions. Most recently, Gitika was named one of the Top 100 Women in Aerospace and Aviation Professionals to Follow on LinkedIn in 2022. The future of aerospace is exciting, and Gitika is working to make it a more diverse and equitable environment for everyone.
Furthermore, Gitika is a 2021–2022 Teen Board of Director of the Girl Scout Nation’s Capital and 2020–2022 Girls Advisory Board Member for Girl Scouts USA. She provides strategic advice to help make the scouting program more diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all girls.
Also, a special shout-out and thank you to our sponsor for this episode, Mission: AstroAccess! Mission: AstroAccess is a project dedicated to promoting disability inclusion in space exploration. AstroAccess is launching disabled scientists, veterans, students, athletes, and artists on parabolic flights with the Zero Gravity Corporation as the first step in a progression toward flying a diverse range of folks to outer space.