16 attend rocket training in Fredericksburg


In preparation to teach project-based SystemsGo aeroscience classes

For release August, 2010

Sixteen high school science teachers recently completed a weeklong hands-on training in SystemsGo Aeroscience, an innovative project-based course in which students design, build, and launch rockets that travel several miles high and surpass the speed of sound. The training took place July 12 - 18 at the Inn on Baron’s Creek in Fredericksburg, Texas.

The group spent the week learning the fundamentals of project-based learning, listening to national speakers, and building and launching three generations of model rockets.

"The training is designed to help teachers understand how to build to their design," said Brett Williams, the Fredericksburg high school teacher who developed and directed the training. "The goal is to get them ready to lead their high school students through the development of the rocket that will carry one pound of payload one mile high."

Those "one pound, one mile" rockets will be launched at the Rockets 2011 event next spring, when teams of students from more than 60 schools will meet near Fredericksburg to launch their rockets.

Speakers included Tom Moser, retired leading engineer for Apollo and the Space Station; Gerry Griffin, former Director of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston; Lee Graham, Johnson Space Center; and Chris Madsen, Orion Entry Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems Manager for NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

During the week, participants enjoyed a tour of Heartland Enterprises and a social gathering at Luckenbach.

The SystemsGo aeroscience curriculum advocates an innovative approach to learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It is supported and developed by SystemsGo, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The two-year SystemsGo Aeroscience program is designed for juniors and seniors in high school. First-year students design and develop sounding rockets capable of lofting a one-pound payload to a one-mile altitude. Second-year students develop a rocket capable of lofting a 35-pound payload to 100,000 feet.

Assisting at the workshop were SystemsGo instructors Jimmy Ledbetter of Lubbock; Andrew Matthes of Fredericksburg; Will Davis; and Programs Coordinator Michelle Woods.

This fall, the SystemsGo Aeroscience program will be active in more than 60 high schools. Educators and supporters wanting to learn more about becoming involved can call 830-997-3567, or go online at www.systemsgo.org.


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