Students and educators from across the country will experience what it is like to be a rocket scientist during “Rocket Week,” June 16-22, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.
More than 100 participants will receive hands-on training in building payloads for spaceflight, learn the basics of rocketry and develop activities for the classroom through the fifth annual RockOn! workshop for university-level participants and the concurrent second annual Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers and Students for high school teachers.
“RockOn and WRATS provide a unique experience for students, faculty and teachers to understand the importance of a sounding rocket suborbital launch and the value of science that is collected,” said Joyce Winterton, senior advisor for education and leadership development at Wallops. “Both opportunities demonstrate the practical application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
About 40 participants will build standardized experiments that will fly on a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket set to launch between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., EDT, June 21. The 35-foot-tall rocket is expected to fly to an altitude of about 75 miles. After launch and payload recovery, the participants will conduct preliminary data analysis and discuss their results.
In addition to the nine workshop-built experiments, eight custom-built experiments also will fly on the rocket inside a payload canister known as RockSat-C. These experiments were developed at universities that previously participated in a RockOn! workshop.
The WRATS program gives high school teachers a technical flight experience to reinforce science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts they teach in their classrooms. During the week, 13 teachers from 12 states will learn about the dynamics of
rocketry and the science gained from suborbital sounding rockets. They also will attend the June 21 sounding rocket launch.
The programs continue NASA’s investment in the nation’s education programs by supporting the goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to future space exploration.
RockOn! is conducted in coordination with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant consortia. Supported by the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in NASA’s Office of Education, it is designed to provide participants an introduction to building small experiments that can be launched on sounding rockets. The RockOn! and WRATS workshops are supported by the agency’s Sounding Rocket Program at Wallops.
For more information on RockOn! and RockSat, visit http://spacegrant.colorado.edu/rockon.