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brianc

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I just noticed something interesting/unusual in the latest issue
(Nov/Dec) of Sport Rocketry... The photos on the page 10-11
spread all feature women (OK, Rachel Kaplow and some of the
others are 'girls'). Even the DynaStar advertisement has a
young girl in it.

Is this a new trend in rocketry? When I was a kid, I don't recall
ever having girls or moms attend launches.

Do you think this was intentional on the part of the SR editors, or
did it 'just happen'?
 

cls

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we noticed the same thing. reading the issue with my daughter, she commented "Dad are they just showing all the girls to say 'girls can do it too'?"

I replied that they published pictures of the contest winners and many of them this time were girls. so, while I think it sorta "just happened" this time, we have to respect that the contest winners have been working on it for a long time.

my daughter is inspired by Ms Wolf who won $600. "the trophy is cool but the money is better." we went out to the garage and mixed some epoxy and glued the fins on her "Water Farie" rocket, and then went inside to sew the parachute.
 

Fishhead

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My wife will have nothing to do with rocketry, something for which I am profoundly grateful. If she'd allow me to be the same way about the theatre, my gratitude would know no bounds. Saturday night was "Miss Saigon" (aka "Two Hours And Fifty Minutes Of Your Life That You'll Never Get Back.") There was a murder in the show and I was praying that the gunshot would ricochet and take me out of my misery. No such luck. Where's a stray bullet when you need one? :D
 

shreadvector

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I "grew up" on the east coast of the USA (on Long Island). I attended launches, competitions and conventions all over the east coast and even travelled to a NARAM in Overland Park KS.

There were MANY girls flying model rockets at NAR events and with NAR clubs, but the numbers varied from location to location and it depended upon the support and encouragement they got from the clubs and their family members. Some families made Model Rocket flying a family event and everyone was involved in building and flying their own rockets and each helped the other out. Conventions (like the Pearl River Convention held at a middle school) exposed hundreds of local kids to model rocketry and some retained an interest and others moved on.

I have lived in the LA, CA area since 1980 and I've run into literally hundreds of women who flew model rockets when they were in school as part of a science class. They are grown up and have kids of their own and they love to mention how they built and flew a model rocket 'long ago' when they were in school. BUT many never kept flying. WHY? Many reasons. Some include:
* Other interests.
* No local NAR section or club that conducted regular launches or provided a launch site OR let the public know that there was a public launch site. Without a site to fly, or a club to show you new things (how to build, design, fix things) the kits at the store can get boring. Also, virtually zero stores carry supporting literature, like technical reports, design guides, HOMR, etc. The world wide web did not exist "back then".

Many comments I get from women (mothers bringing their kids to launches) are about how pleased they are that there is a place to take the kids to launch their rockets legally, since when they were a kid they were unaware of any place to launch them legally (you need permits in CA). They love the way we help the kids and provide supporting info (tech reports, advice, CD-ROMs with freeware, our club website with links to other info/supply sites, etc.).

There are very few women who show up on theri own at our launches to fly model rockets. Many show up with husbands, boyfriends, or their kids to suport the activites of those they are with, BUT many also build and fly their own so they can get in on the fun. They also paint their models better than most guys. (I've also noticed that girls tend to build better because they listen to instructions better and read the instructions).

SO, if you want more girls to fly model rockets, do some classes for local schools and maybe some girl scout troops.

There are PLENTY of girls on Team America Rocketry Challenge teams. TARC is a good place to encourage all kids to learn about model rockets.

Originally posted by brianc
I just noticed something interesting/unusual in the latest issue
(Nov/Dec) of Sport Rocketry... The photos on the page 10-11
spread all feature women (OK, Rachel Kaplow and some of the
others are 'girls'). Even the DynaStar advertisement has a
young girl in it.

Is this a new trend in rocketry? When I was a kid, I don't recall
ever having girls or moms attend launches.

Do you think this was intentional on the part of the SR editors, or
did it 'just happen'?
 

jflis

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yea, well wait till the jan/feb issue... that issue (so i'm told by the folks at sport rocketry, *always* has a woman on the cover :)

I was very pleased to see how many woman were awarded trophy's at this years NARAM. I think there are more women in rocketry than there were when i was young, but then there are more women in all facets of life that were male-only environments back in the 60's & 70''s, so that isn't a surprise.

Plus (as far as hobbies go), I think rocketry is the most "person friendly" male dominated hobby out there which would make it easier for women to get involved in.
 

rstaff3

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My meager observations is that there are more (%-wise) young girls than women, meaning that they are not genetically disposed to the BAR virus.
 

wwattles

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Originally posted by rstaff3
My meager observations is that there are more (%-wise) young girls than women, meaning that they are not genetically disposed to the BAR virus.
I have personally witnessed the short and long term effects of other strains of the virus on a pair of women I know. My wife loves to see me building rockets (it keeps me away from "trouble"), and loves to launch the rockets (but not prep them). On the other hand, she hates the loud noise of some of the liftoffs, and she doesn't like building them herself (even though she has never attempted one despite my urgings).

The other woman I've seen be infected was actually mkeene's wife. She came to a launch, and was rather skeptical about the draw of the sport/hobby. Then she prepped and flew one of his, and she was grinning like a schoolgirl, and wanted to do it again as soon as possible.

The infection rate may be greatly affected by the stereotype image of "it's a macho thing" or "it's a testosterone thing." Mrs. mkeene's quote before her launch was something like, "What's the big deal about launching one of these things? It's just a toy - you push a button, it goes up, it comes down. So what? How can you get so excited about it???"

Also affecting the stereotype is that our projects involve a measure of precision, an ocassional tool, and glue. Wood shop skills. Remember back in school, "boys take wood shop, girls take home economics." Wood shop was the place where boys cut things, hammered things, made loud noises, and basically learned to be men. Or so went the stereotype. That predisposes the vast majority of women to stay away and not even be curious of our hobby.

My 3 cents (which is actually only 1.5 after accounting for inflation and taxes)

WW
 

rstaff3

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I am not sexist, but I think the smoke and fire thing is in a boys genes. You can get into the discsussion about a kids interests being driven by society and all that, but I still believe there are basic differences that drive their interests. This is not to say that girls don't make as good or better rocketeers.

My wife attends and watches launches but must have been vaccinated at a young age as the disease is in remission. :( :D
 

wwattles

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Originally posted by rstaff3
I am not sexist, but I think the smoke and fire thing is in a boys genes.
Quite possibly - after all, who gets asked to 1) start fires when camping; 2) start fires in fireplaces; 3) cook things over fires known as barbecues; 4) put out fires that start where they shouldn't? Give a boy and a girl a box of matches, and they'll each light one. Maybe they'll each light two. But only the boy will want to light the whole box on fire right there on the spot!:eek:

WW
 

cls

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that's the neat thing about rocketry, there is so much more to the hobby than the smoke and fire. it's very crafty, very creative, leads to lots of other interests... and the smoke and fire is good too!


before I had kids of my own I would have guessed that behavior was 50/50 genetic (including sex) vs environment. now I have to say behavior is about 95% genetic!
 

MissileDaughter

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Being a lady myself, I don't think rocketry is a "guy thing" much less that gardening is a "woman thing." I just think it has to do with each individual person. I bet if more women were exposed to rocketry, there would be more women participating in this sport.
To be honest, I think this thing with typical expectations of women doing certain things and men doing other things is what are society dictates.
For instance, when you think of a woman, what do you imagine? When you think of a man, what do you imagine?
When most people think of a woman, they think of a delicate mother-like person. When they think of a man, they think of a tough strong person.
My point? Well, when it comes to rocketry as a sport, society tells us that it is a mainly a "man's" sport. It is just a sterotypical view of the hobby itself.
 

rstaff3

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I have heard those arguements and believe that environment is a big factor. But like cls after raising my kids I now believe the other way. Of all the positive things that rocketry offers, I see more boys are drawn to the smoke fire and noise of rocketry long before they have an interest in the craft/construction/accomplishment/etc aspects of the hobby. I haven't observed as many girls directly, but I'd bet they don't get into rocketry for this reason.

Aside from rocketry, here's another example: I observed several groups of Indian Guides, Indian Princesses, Cubs and Brownies. When camping, boys are constantly interested in poking at camp fires, throwing stuff in, etc. Girls on the other hand liked to hang out, sing or whatever.

I know this makes most women and all social scientists cringe. Social 'science' ?
 

lalligood

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I'd also like to mention that I don't think there are any (or perhaps an *extremely* small selection) of rocket designs tailored to (young) women.

Men like designs that have some level of aggressiveness (military scale, sharp lines, etc.) whereas for women, it's a "vibe" thing. (I don't know how to describe it other than that. If you're married, you know exactly what I'm trying to say! haha)

Like my wife was tickled pink when I told her that I'd like to build a rocket for her. Whatever she wanted to pick out. She instantly went for a Binder Design Dragonfly. She didn't see it as a rocket...she saw it as something cute & feminine. I realize that she's not a serious rocketeer(ess), but I wanted to get her interested in joining me at club launches. It somewhat worked...(it's her work schedule that has made it difficult as of late.) I'm thinking out loud that to attract more non-familiar women to the hobby, there could be a better chance of them crossing over with kits like this...

It's gotta start somewhere, right?
 

rstaff3

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My daughter wanted some rockets when my son and I were getting into it. She wanted no part of building or launching and in fact asked me NOT to fly them. She did enjoy helping paint and decorate them however. Cat stickers, glitter, etc.
 

n3tjm

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I too have been noting all the (young) ladies in Sport Rocketry. To bad most of them are not around my age... and I am sure that if any are around my age... they live to far away :mad:.

:D
 

Mike

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Originally posted by n3tjm
I am sure that if any are around my age... they live to far away :mad:
I know the feeling!!!! :D
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Guess I'm lucky...

1) Like WWatttles, my wife thinks the whole mess keeps me out of trouble.

2) She loves a good necksnapper. The faster off the pad, the more she likes it.

I also thinks she likes to watch a bunch of grown men prancing around like giddy schoolboys. She can watch us for hours. :p
 

wwattles

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Originally posted by Hospital_Rocket
I also thinks she likes to watch a bunch of grown men prancing around like giddy schoolboys. She can watch us for hours. :p
I'm sorry, but I never prance. I may strut. I may saunter. I may jump, run, leap, dash, hoot, or howl. I sashay, but only when I'm doing my impression of a ...well... nevermind.

But I never prance. Thank you.

WW:p
 

brianc

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My (yikes!) seventeen year-old daughter hasn't shown too much interest
in joining her brother on the field. I'm still working on it.

She did build & paint an Estes Sizzler or Wizard (I forget) with intentions
of launching it. But then she took it to school for a speech or art project
prop, never to be seen again.

I really thought I had her hooked at NARAM when he saw my SHX-15B
go up on the F21. Her comments for the next fifteen minutes were "Dad!
that was freakin' awesome! Let's do it again!"... :)
 

Bill

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Originally posted by lalligood
I'd also like to mention that I don't think there are any (or perhaps an *extremely* small selection) of rocket designs tailored to (young) women.



Perhaps the significant others of a Jim or a Don can design a Bratz or Barbie inspired kit?


Bill
 

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