top of page

About Us

Washington Youth Rocketry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering and fostering the education and interest in aerospace engineering and rocketry through hands-on programs with model rockets, demonstrations, classes, theory, and curriculum. We provide an opportunity for young individuals of the community to engage in discussion and classes of aeronautical concepts and technologies as well as acquire new information and ideas on these topics.

When I was growing up in my elementary and middle school years, there really wasn't an opportunity for me to learn and work with rocketry, even though I was extremely fascinated by aerospace topics. While youth robotics, coding, and mathematics were widespread and established, rocketry was practically unheard of. None of my friends were working with it, my school didn't have a Rocket Club, and model rocketry wasn't even listed in the annual summer camp catalog. Looking back and even looking at the present, I'm still surprised at the lack of enthusiasm for rocketry given how much SpaceX and space exploration has been in the news lately. My whole motivation behind starting Washington Youth Rocketry is that I want to make sure that unlike myself, no kid is left without an opportunity to experience the riveting adventure of model rocketry and aerospace engineering.

Andrew ShiFounder and Executive Director

With the programs at Washington Youth Rocketry, we are helping bring the excitement of aerospace engineering to the Eastside for the first time. Our programs are custom tailored to kids, designed to effectively incorporate education and content seamlessly with the thrill of working with model rockets. They won't even know they're learning! After all, rockets are cool, and watching your hard work launch up in the sky never gets old. Regardless of prior experience, there will always be something new for every child in our classes.


"Is model rocketry safe for my child?"

The word "rocket" may give off the impression that model rocketry is dangerous or hazardous, with images of large flames or explosions. Rest assured, model rocketry is completely safe. Although these are still very real rockets, model rocketry puts it all in a miniature form that is easy for children and students to grasp. Millions of model rockets are launched every year with practically zero accidents or injuries. In fact, hobby rocketry is safer than almost any sport or other physical activity. It is fully legal in every state, exempted by the Federal Aviation Administration, and permitted for use with children by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Model rockets are not fireworks; fireworks are uncontrolled, fuse-lit, and explode, whereas model rockets are controlled, reusable, designed with a plenitude of safety features, and have tons of educational value.

Safety is our number one priority here at Washington Youth Rocketry. We thoroughly and diligently follow the National Association of Rocketry's Safety Codes for model rocketry, which outlines the rules and guidelines for safe practices. These Safety Codes are one of the main reasons behind the hobby's excellent safety record. All classes are also supervised by our NAR-certified instructors. So, to answer the above question: Yes, model rocketry is completely safe for your child, and is an excellent way to experience aerospace engineering!

For more information on model rocketry safety, please visit the following links:

A copy of the NAR model rocket Safety Code — NAR Safety Code

A summary of the safety of model rocketry — NAR Model Rocketry Safety Overview

Additional information on model rocketry safety — NAR Safety Information

Board of Directors

Andrew Shi

Founder and Executive Director

James Marshall


Matthew Ovanesyan


bottom of page