Events

June 7, 2012

Intermediate Space Challenge caps Mojave school year with big cheers

by Raphael Jaffe
Staff Writer

A rocket parachutes back to the ground after a successful launch at the 8th Annual Intermediate Space Challenge. It was Branch Elementary School’s first year participating in the competition. The school was rewarded for their efforts and proudly took home nine awards.

As if to make up for gale winds that forced postponement last week, there was no wind May 31 when the eighth Intermediate Space Challenge was held at Mojave Air and Space Port.

There were 28 classes, 4th to 6th graders, from Mojave, California City, Rosamond and Edwards. For the first time, there were 7th and 8th grade classes from Lancaster. Attendance was about 1,300, including teachers, mentors, observers and parents.

Distinguished attendees included Stuart Witt, CEO of the space port; Dick Rutan famed pilot and Airport Board Secretary; Dr. Aaron Haughton, Mojave Unified School District Superintendent; MUSD Board President Sherry Ott; MUSD Board Member Andrew Parker; Kern County District 2 Supervisor Zack Scrivner; and District Representative Vince Fong on behalf of U. S. Representative Kevin McCarthy.

The competition judges each class on rocket performance, rocket integration, a spirit banner, and an illustrated essay on rocketry. The rockets are Estes Co. 16-inch Big Daddy models. There are two flights of each class’s rocket. Live arming and actual firing is done by space port personnel. Rocket height is measured by two teams from Edwards AFB.

ISC emphasizes teamwork and problem solving. The class chooses its own name. It then gets to build and decorate a Big Daddy. Each student writes an essay and does an illustration about the experience. The class prepares a poster. Advisors from high school rocket/science clubs mentor the students, along with their teacher.

The Air Force Flight Test Center measurement personnel were headed by Mickey Bowen, Flight Test Outreach Lead, of the 812th Test Support Squadron. Each team of three set up 500 feet from the launch point with elevation and azimuth instruments. Those readings were relayed and a computer program used to generate attained height to the nearest

A rocket blasts off at the 8th annual Intermediate Space Challenge May 31, held at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Nearly 1,000 students from 28 classes around the Antelope Valley participated in the event, including fifth and sixth graders from Branch Elementary School.

On competition day, the students are bussed to Mojave Air and Space Port. At a safe distance behind a rope barrier, the boys and girls cheer their rocket up. Volunteer airport employees arm and launch the rockets. Other airport volunteers retrieve the spent rockets for the second launch, which occurs after a lunch break.

This year the winning school was Hacienda Elementary. An all-time record height of 940 feet was reached by the Strahan’s Sychos class of Mojave Elementary school. The competition was opened by a 20-strong choir of 4th to 6th graders from Mojave Elementary School which sang the Star Spangled Banner. It was trained and conducted by Tim Lomba, instructional specialist with the Mojave Unified School District.

Marie Walker of Fiberset, Inc. originated the Space Challenge for intermediate school classes, to inspire science and engineering studies. She conducted the event. It has grown through the years and NASA has prepared a curriculum guide for it.

Witt greeted the students, thanking the school districts “for letting us put this on, in this risk adverse environment.”

The Dragon cargo craft had just completed its successful mission to the International Space Station. Witt urged the students to go home and hear and see what had just happened in space travel.

Several guests made statements on the event. Haughton said he was especially glad to see that the event was growing, with classes from Lancaster. He said it was wonderful for putting emphasis on the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics curriculum. He mentioned that the district is starting a Solar/Renewable Energy Academy open to 9th to 12th graders, to train solar installation technicians. There are 70 students, including adults, who have pre-enrolled.

Scrivner said this is a terrific event that challenges the imagination of the children. “We are standing at the center of aerospace innovation here at the Mojave Air and Space Port, and I congratulate Marie Walker and Stuart Witt for sponsoring it each year.”

McCarthy’s statement said, “This is a great day in Mojave as we celebrate another successful Intermediate Space Challenge. We congratulate all the students and teachers who participated. The ISC is an amazing program that teaches our local students the importance of math and science.”

Many sponsors contributed money and equipment for the ISC. These included the Air Force Flight Test Center; Benz Sanitation; Fiberset, Inc.; Jim’s Radio Shack of California City; Mellor Printing/Paul Carol; Mojave Air and Space Port; NASA; Rio Tinto; Scaled Composites; Sempra Energy; Terra-Gen Power; and The Spaceship Company. Among the volunteers who assisted were Theresa Bissex, Jim Chambers, Cris Johnston, Andria Kingsley, and Rudy Villarreal.

 

Results of Intermediate Space Challenge 2011

Overall Winners

(Each school received a gift bag from NASA)

 

4TH GRADE DIVISION: Ms. PLUDE – The Space Hawks

5th GRADE DIVISION: Mr. CAROL – Carol’s Cobras

5th GRADE DIVISION: Ms. BAILEY – The Night Lighters

 

CERTIFICATES FOR “BEST ROCKET PERFORMANCE”

Highest Rocket Heights – (average of both flights)

 

4th Grade:

1st Place: Team #21 HES Ms. Plude – The Space Hawks 453.3 feet

2nd Place: Team #20 HES Ms. Tate – Gold Rushing Jets 428.89 feet

3rd Place: Team #3 MES Ms. Zohn – The Monsters 405.08 feet

 

5th Grade

1st Place: Team #5 MES Mr. Coats – Gravity Killers 461.73 feet

2nd Place: Team #4 MES Mr. Carol – Carol’s Cobras 378.56 feet

3rd Place: Team #15 HES Ms. Oakley – The Dark Angels 369.49 feet




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>