Program in Croatia
The introduction of the Lady Rocket Foundation in Croatia began in early 2021 when Igor Bobek and Lady Rocket connected through Igor’s activities with the Mars Society and the MarsTalk YouTube channel. Upon the presentation of the Lady Rocket Foundation Mars Inspiration Program, the synergy was evident immediately, as Igor already had a school in mind for the pilot project in Zagreb, Croatia. The program was introduced to the Ivan Gundulić Elementary School in Zagreb. After the parents and the teachers agreed on the program, and after seeing the joy sparked among the children, the program began on October 1st, 2021, and included 120 children. Lead by teachers Nika Gutić and Mateja Volarić, the program was supposed to last for 6 weeks. However, the reaction of the children, teachers, and parents was so positive that the space program is continuing to this very day, showcasing not only the success of the pilot project but building a basis for further expansion in Croatian elementary schools. The direct results of the program are the introduction of the first generation of Croatian kids, aged 6-10 to the LRF Mars inspiration program, a NASA JPL-based program, not introduced in Croatia on such a level. The program focused on Mars and the curriculum is designed to teach and inspire kids to think about Mars and space, regardless of their affinity towards STEM.
In addition, thanks to the program, the children participated in the first-ever “Blue Marble Night” global event, celebrating the first full image of the Earth, “Blue Marble”, taken by the Apollo 17 space mission in December 1972. Lastly, the program inspired kids to go to school, making “Space day” the only day of the week where children woke up before their parents, hurrying them to take them to school as their favorite subject will be on that day of the week.