Events

June 19, 2013

Tehachapi hosts intermediate space challenge

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Linda KC Reynolds
Staff Writer

Students from Janice Tietz class took the overall top score at the Tehachapi Space Challenge and will proudly display the Traveling Trophy for one year at Tompkins Elementary School. More than 500 students, guests and volunteers participated in the event.

High winds and cool temperatures didnít keep rockets on their launch pads, Lori Marvin from performing the National Anthem, guest speaker, Virgin Galactic Pilot David MacKay and more than 500 students and guests from participating in the 2013 Tehachapi Intermediate Space Challenge at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport May 22.

Mackay encouraged students not to give up when facing challenges.

You may have had problems and setbacks while building your rockets. That certainly happened to us at Scaled Composites when we were building our space ship, but it is often an opportunity to learn even more about what you are trying to do,î said Mackay. ìSo take a big breath and talk to people that may be able to help you. Donít give up straight away.

The chief pilot said it takes more than engineers and pilots to build a space company. ìPeople spend a lot of money to fly into space, so they may want to save their ticket, said Mackay. You need to design a special ticket people will want to keep so you also need artists and all kinds of people.

Rocket Students Watch as their rockets take off.

Students are judged on rocket performance, spirit banner and each must write an essay about their experience. They also design posters that teach them about marketing.

Fifth grade students from Janice Tietz class of Tompkins Elementary school took home the Traveling Trophy for highest overall score.

Ezekiel Chacon doesnít want to be an astronaut, he prefers to design and build. ìMy favorite thing is building. I really think someday I would like to build a hovering car,î said the 5th grader. ìIt wonít matter if it is over land, water or mountains, you just hover.

Space Challenge events are designed to engage and encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math skills often referred to as STEM.

It is so awesome to see a renewed interest in science and engineering in these young students,î said Joel Beckmann, whom along with Marie Walker, hosted the event. ìThe Intermediate Space Challenge is but a seed that we plant in their minds that may lead to a fulfilling vocation for them in their adult years. The people of Tehachapi are great! Thanks to the help of our volunteers and sponsors, we were able to pull off a complex event smoothly and safely.

For every engineer you need four technicians,î said volunteer Randall Scott who is very active in educational outreach. ìProbably 90 percent of good jobs require more than a high school education. We try to encourage students to do well in high school so they can go to college or receive special training in a particular field.

Elementary students may have a chance to fly an experiment in space.

In the future space travel will be easier and cheaper. We are going to offer the opportunity to fly into space and to do experiments in space, said Mackay. ìPerhaps a few elementary classes will get together and come up with an experiment we can perform on Virgin Galactic.




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