The nation’s fascination with the space program and astronauts led to the establishment of the Houston Chapter, then the Washington, D.C., Chapter, followed by Chapters in other states.
ARCS® Foundation leaders have long nurtured and financially supported the creation of Chapters and supported their efforts with training sessions, printed materials and more recently, a new website and database, aptly named Project Mercury, to track ARCS Scholar alums.
In the Chapters, members raised funds to provide scholar awards to students. Since the beginning, Chapters have raised monies locally and supported scholars from their universities in their home states. Members depend on relationships with local businesses and foundations for funding support, and with area college and university departments which nominate and select scholars. As primary implementers of ARCS Foundation mission, Chapters unite with the national organization as advocates for education and research, and to keep the public aware of science challenges and successes.
ARCS Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary in June 2008. In 2009–2010 the three newest Chapters were established, bringing the number of ARCS Foundation Chapters to 17, in states from Hawaii to Minnesota to Florida.