SystemsGo conducts summer teacher training; looks ahead to 2021 rocket launches
Sept 10, 2020–
Working within the limitations imposed on schools by COVID-19, SystemsGo was able to train 14 teachers over the summer in preparation for a new school year of students designing, building, and launching rockets.
Rebekah Hyatt, Program Director, offered training to teachers from several states for several levels of the Science, Technology, Education, and Math high school curriculum. Most of the teachers were new to the program, and others were experienced teachers preparing to teach a different level. Doug Underwood, North Texas Coordinator, led some of the training.
“With districts not allowing teachers to travel, individuals needing to isolate, and late hires, training was a real challenge this summer,” Hyatt said. “Between online and safe face-to-face sessions, we were able to accommodate everyone.”
A summary of training by level and schools:
Intro to Engineering: 8 teachers total, 5 new, 3 replacement
New districts: Comal ISD with 2 high schools, Aztec Municipal Schools (NM)
Added courses: Decatur and Alamo Heights ISDs
Replacement teachers: Johnson, Decatur, and Gatesville High Schools
Tsiolkovsky Level: 4 teachers total, 2 new, 2 replacement
New Districts: Sunnyvale High School
Added courses: Canon City, CO
Replacements/additional teachers: Victoria West High School and Hollenstein CTE Center
Oberth: 2 Teachers:
Harleton and Carroll High Schools both added level
When the new programs are implemented in the 20-21 school year, SystemsGo will be offered in 78 high schools in five states. They are:
TX–57, NM–18, UT–1, OR–1, and CO–1.
COVID-19 continues to affect how schools are opening in different communities. To accommodate the hybrid schedules mixing in-person and online learning, Hyatt is working with teachers to make as many of the lessons and activities as “online friendly” as possible.
Looking ahead, plans are moving forward on conducting the normal spring launches at all four launch sites. Due to the pandemic limiting students’ ability to gather and complete their rocket builds last year, the 2019-2020 spring launches were canceled. As a result, there may be a backlog as some of last year’s rockets will be launched this year.
“If schools plan to bring rockets scheduled to launch last year, we may need to extend the number of launch days at specific sites,” Hyatt said. Another driver affecting launch scheduling would be the need for social distancing. “We are brainstorming ways to schedule schools to help with this issue, and will be announcing plans as they are finalized.”
SystemsGo is an education non-profit 501(c)(3) project-based learning curriculum started in Fredericksburg, Texas, in 1996. During the school year, the students design and build rockets intended to achieve a variety of design goals. The levels are Tsiolkovsky–loft a one-pound payload to one mile; Oberth–achieve transonic flight under 13,000 feet, and Goddard–take a research payload to 80,000 to 100,000 feet.
Information at www.systemsgo.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 830-997-3567.