SystemsGo began firing up high school students with its innovative approach to learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in 1996 at Fredericksburg High School, in Fredericksburg, Texas.
Teacher Brett Williams, a graduate of Texas A&M University and founder of SystemsGo, believed there was a better way to educate and motivate tomorrow’s innovators. Drawing on his training in the sciences and his work in the private sector, he laid the foundation for the program in his Principles of Technology class. With administrative and community support, Williams’s students began designing and launching rockets.
The classroom experience guided students through hands-on research, as well as design and development instruction within the engineering and technology design disciplines.
Through successes and failures, students picked up valuable life skills such as problem solving, testing, analysis, documentation, reporting, project management, teamwork, and communication.
Now SystemsGo, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, shares its 4-year sequenced curriculum with high schools in Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Colorado. The program now guides students from introduction to R&D and engineering skills to designing and building rockets for testing at altitudes from 80,000 feet to 100,000 feet, with launches at White Sands Missile Range carrying university payloads.
But the real goal is to encourage students to explore the boundaries of space, while expanding their own boundaries as they launch themselves to become tomorrow’s innovators.