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The PURPOSE of this competition is to foster an interest in model rocketry, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects and aeronautics.
The GOAL of the program is to give kids the unique educational experience of building and launching their own solid-fuel powered rocket.
The MISSION of the program is to keep alive the memory of the 1st Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe, and the Artist who walked on the Moon, Astronaut Alan Bean.

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3, 2, 1...BLAST OFF!!!

School:
Pine Ridge High School 
Subject:
Stem 
Teacher:
Christina Hackey 
Students Impacted:
60 
Grade:
9-12 
Date:
August 21, 2019

67% Funded

 

 

Only $325.38 Needed

 

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Goal

The PURPOSE of this competition is to foster an interest in model rocketry, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects and aeronautics.
The GOAL of the program is to give kids the unique educational experience of building and launching their own solid-fuel powered rocket.
The MISSION of the program is to keep alive the memory of the 1st Teacher-in-Space Christa McAuliffe, and the Artist who walked on the Moon, Astronaut Alan Bean. 

 

What will be done with my students

Students will research and report on the history of the space program in Florida. They will also research science, technology, engineering, and math careers. This research includes which colleges/technical schools offer their chosen STEM field, how much money the needed training/college will cost, where they can live with the chosen career, and how much money they will make at the beginning of their career and how much they can expect to make once well established. They will also research significant milestones in the Space Race, starting with Sputnik and ending with the Apollo 11 mission. Some of the Florida Standards that will be addressed include: SC.912.E.5.7--Relate the history of and explain the justification for future space exploration and continuing technology development, SC.912.E.5.9--Analyze the broad effects of space exploration on the economy and culture of Florida, SC.912.N.3.5--Describe the function of models in science, and identify the wide range of models used in science, LAFS.912.W.3.7--Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. Students are required to assemble their rockets on their own, with no physical help from an adult. The ability to follow complicated instructions is an essential literacy (and life) skill. Students will keep a log of data from the contest. Student work will be graded using a rubric.
 

 

Benefits to my students

In 2010-2011, I entered my 5th grade class in the National Rocket Man Competition, a contest for students aged 10-18 who build and launch their own rocket in which the goal is to land as close to the target as possible. I received a grant for half of the students and paid for the rest with classroom funds and donations. I held the competition for all of 4th and 5th grade to watch. It was a huge success. In the 2011-2012 school-year, I expanded the project to all 5th grade students at Crystal River Primary School. To accomplish this, Citrus County Education Foundation provided 2/3 of the funding needed to benefit all five 5th grade classes (the remaining funds were procured through a SAEC grant). The entire school came out to watch the rockets launch during this week-long event, along with various business and community members. The most exciting aspect of it all was that the CRPS winner WON the national competition! The reward was a 2-night trip to the Kennedy Space Center and Astronaut Hall of Fame. A “real” astronaut who had been to space seven times was there to hand out the awards. In the 2012-2013 school-year, I was able to repeat the project with the entire grade-level. The school winner was not the national winner, but that doesn’t mean that the project was any less successful. If even one child’s interest in STEM was “ignited”, then it can be considered a success.
In 2013-2014 year, I moved to Citrus Springs Elementary as the Technology/Media Teacher on Special Assignment. I taught science and research to all of 5th grade during special areas. With the help of the 5th grade team and the generosity of the Education Foundation, the entire 5th grade at CSES participated in the competition. The contest was a TREMENDOUS success. For the second time in 4 years, Citrus County produced a national winner! She and I attended the finals in Huntsville, Alabama, and enjoyed a true October Sky experience. She competed again against the top 10 from across the country and had the best two overall launches AGAIN! The best part was that she received her award from Homer Hickam himself, the author of October Sky. I was contacted by a former Citrus County graduate, Dr. Eric Stewart, who is now a REAL rocket scientist at NASA. He served as our personal guide at the US Space and Rocket Center!
During the 2014-15 school year, the 5th year competing in the Reach for the Stars Competition, I received a call from the director in July announcing the AMAZING news that another 5th grade CSES champion qualified for the nationals, this time the Citrus County student received 3rd place. We headed to Alabama in October 2015 to receive recognition for the 3rd National Finalist from Citrus County in 5 years!!!
The 2015-2016 school-year was the 6th consecutive year of participation in this competition. For the first year ever, we held 6 separate competitions—one for each 5th grade classroom. That meant that we submitted 6 local winners’ results to the national competition. To our surprise, TWO students were in the top 5 nationally and were invited to attend the ceremony at Kennedy Space Center on October 1. They were presented the award by Cmdr. Bob Springer, a two-time space shuttle astronaut. That made 5 national champs in 6 years!
During 2016-2017, we continued having 6 separate classroom competitions. Each day, different “celebrity” judges were invited, including management and engineers from Duke Energy and Citrus County School District Directors/Supervisors. In August, we received more amazing news. Of the 5 National Champions that are invited to launch rockets at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, Citrus Springs Elementary once again produced 2 winners among more than 2000 national competitors. During the 2017-2018 school year, our school produced another winner.
For the 2018-2019 school year, I moved to Levy County and worked at two rural-remote schools--Yankeetown School and Cedar Key School. The Levy County Education Foundation provided $600 to each school so that the students from these schools could participate in the 13th Annual National Reach for the Stars Rocket Competition. I just found out that my 8th grade student at Cedar Key is one of the top 5 finalists. We will be traveling to the US Space and Rocket Center October 19, 2019 for the celebration.
In total, 8 of the 9 years of participation have produced top 5 finalists!
If the FUTURES foundation provides the funding, I hope to have another winner for my 10th year of participating.
This experience is particularly significant considering Florida’s integral part of rocketry and space exploration. This project supports STEM and will help approximately 60 Pine Ridge High School students experience real-world science and math applications. The entire school will be invited to watch the launches. This activity has helped to ignite interest in science, technology, engineering, and math in all students who watched, not just students who participated, so the number of students impacted is much larger than the 60 who actually build and launch the rockets. Local press, school board members, and FUTURES Foundation Board Members will be invited to watch and possibly be guest judges. 

 

Budget Narrative

The actual cost for 60 competitors (kits, engines for 2 launches each, launch kit, and entry fee) is $1055.38. I subtracted the entry fee for 3 competitors. I will personally pay for them to keep the grant amount under $1000)  

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 60 Estes Rocket kits, engines, launch kit $995.38
  Total: $995.38

67% Funded

 

 

Only $325.38 Needed

 

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Special Thanks to Our Presenting Partners

Amscot

FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

William & Linda Cuthbert

Heart of Volusia, Inc.

Duke-Energy

Florida Health Care Plans & Florida Blue

Florida Power & Light Company

Noopur Ranganathan

SunTrust Foundation

Rue & Ziffra

Launch Federal Credit Union

Addition Financial

New Smyrna Beach Board of Realtors

Mader Southeast

Cobb Cole