Lots of well behaved, but loud, 4th to 6th graders will be participating in the 9th Annual Intermediate Space Challenge at the Mojave Air and Space Port May 13.
The creation of Fiberset founder and CEO Marie Walker, ISC aims to show local school children that rocketry is a fun activity, and that scientific smarts are worth studying.
There are four parts to the challenge. 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. Advisers from high school rocket/science clubs mentor the students, along with their teacher.
At last year’s competition there were 28 classes from Mojave, California City, Rosamond and Edwards. Attendance was about 1,300; including students, teachers, mentors, observers and parents.
This year there are separate similar competitions sponsored by the Tehachapi and by the Edwards school districts. Their interest delights Walker, who has also been active in getting NASA to publish a curriculum guide so that other school districts could hold such an event.
The event is sponsored by many local firms and is open to the public. There will be direction signs from the airport entrance between Mariah Country Inn and the two airplanes on Bypass Route 58. Come and see a thousand enthusiastic youngsters.