Open Opportunities

Manager, American Rocketry Challenge

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)

Department: Strategic Initiatives

Date: 18 August 2021

To learn more about AIA, please visit:

Position Summary:

The American Rocketry Challenge Manager is responsible for successfully managing and executing all aspects of AIA’s American Rocketry Challenge. They act as liaison for the American Rocketry Challenge with organizations and individuals including registered teams, AIA member companies, academic institutions, associations, Congressional staff, the National Association of Rocketry, NASA, the Department of Defense, consultants, and AIA staff. This position reports directly to Vice President for Strategic Initiatives.

The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest and the aerospace and defense industry’s signature STEM program, with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing annually. The contest provides students in 6th – 12th grades the opportunity to design, build, and launch model rockets and gain hands-on experience solving engineering problems. To learn more about the American Rocketry Challenge, as well as the Aerospace Industries Association and National Association of Rocketry, please visit

Core Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Strategy:
    • Develop and refine annual program schedules and budgets along with strategies for program growth and key Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.
  • Execution:
    • Oversee contest registration, Title I grant selection and distribution, and qualification flight submission and evaluation as well as maintain up-to-date contest materials.
  • Event Planning:
    • Plans and manages all event planning related to the program, including the National Finals and International Rocketry Challenge
    • For the National Finals, this includes selecting and negotiating with venues, vendors, event set up, staffing, and exhibits
    • For the International Rocketry Challenge, this includes managing the U.S. national team’s participation and coordination with sponsors and foreign trade associations
  • Sponsors and Partners:
    • Retain and engage existing corporate sponsors and develop strategies to deepen engagement and recruit new AIA member companies as sponsors
    • Engage with existing partners and develop strategies for creating new strategic partnerships with government, educational, and professional entities
  • Communications:
    • Develop and execute internal and external contest communications strategies
    • Collaborates internally with AIA’s Workforce and Communications efforts to increase awareness about the industry’s workforce efforts, as well as encourage students to pursue aerospace careers
  • Manage year-round internship program and directly supervise program intern
  • Other duties as assigned 

Qualifications and Experience:

 Experience Required

  • Experience as a project or program manager, or event planning, or membership management
  • Strong computer skills, specifically with Excel and project planning programs
  • Experience with SurveyMonkey Apply is a significant plus
  • Excellent communication skills conveying key messages to large groups in writing and in-person
  • Ability to deconflict competing priorities and stakeholders
  • Experience in and passion for STEM education and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs


  • An Associates or Bachelors degree, or equivalent experience required 
  • This position does not require experience with rocketry, aerospace, or engineering.

To Apply, please send the following documents to

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

AIA is proud to be committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or Veteran status. Consistent with these policies, we strongly believe that diversity contributes to a broader collective perspective that will consistently lead to a better organization and better results. We are working hard to increase the diversity of our team wherever we can and we actively encourage everyone to consider becoming a part of it.

Intern, American Rocketry Challenge


The American Rocketry Challenge internship program gives selected interns the opportunity to be involved hands-on in the planning and execution of the world’s largest student rocket contest. Interns will gain valuable training in project management, communications, and data-driven research.

An intern will work as an integral part of a small team that manages the American Rocketry Challenge, so will be actively involved in a variety of different aspects of the program. By the end of the internship, an intern will have a deep understanding of non-profit program management, diverse communications skills, and a clear, intern-managed project.

This internship requires a 15 to 25 hour time commitment per week. This internship is based in Washington, D.C. and the Eastern time zone but will be managed remotely.

Interested applicants should send in a resume and cover letter to no later than September 30, 2021. The selected intern will be expected to begin no later than Monday, October 18, 2021. This is a paid internship at $15/hr.


  • Assisting the Program Manager in the administration of all programming related to the 2022 American Rocketry Challenge
  • Selecting, in consultation with the Program Manager, a specific project area of the contest (Virtual Competitions, Partnerships, Communications, Virtual Events, etc.) to develop and execute project plans
  • Assisting with registration for the 2022 American Rocketry Challenge
  • Assisting with the administration of our 2022 Title I Grant program
  • Assisting with the administration of our Alumni Network
  • Working with the Program Manager to develop new partnerships and programming in a COVID-19 environment and in post-COVID-19 transition plans


  • Undergraduate student, seniors preferred, with a passion for aerospace, education, and/or youth engagement. All majors will be considered.
  • Prior internship experienced preferred.
  • Strong writing and proofreading skills
  • Excellent communication, attention to detail, and time management skills
  • Advanced experience with Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, and Excel. Experience with Notion or any other Project Management software is a plus, but not required.

About the American Rocketry Challenge

The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest with nearly 5,000 students nationwide competing each year. The contest gives middle and high school students the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and hands-on experience solving engineering problems. Since the program’s founding in 2002, over 70,000 students have gained invaluable STEM skills through hands-on, project-based learning.