Cocoa Beach, Fla. --
On Tuesday, Jan.16, members of the SMC Remote Sensing Systems Directorate SBIRS GEO Flight-4 launch team joined approximately 50 eighth graders to “Engineer Stomp Rockets” for a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) event at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School. Hosted by the Lockheed Martin Space Community Relations office and the school, the event demonstrated Newton’s Third Law of Motion in a real-world activity that enabled students, Airmen, and Lockheed Martin personnel to work together in small groups to build rockets and rocket launchers out of poster board, plastic pipes and soda bottles.
“The kids have been studying space exploration and launch principles for the past several months” said Kevin Ebright, one of the school’s eighth grade science teachers. “To use those lessons in real-world activities like this, with people who launch actual satellites into space, really makes the learning meaningful”.
The activity encouraged the students to think about how propulsion works, how the design of their rocket could help it travel further, and allowed them to experience first-hand the Third Law of Motion concept that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. They also took advantage of the opportunity to ask members of the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 team what it’s really like to work in the space industry building and launching satellites.
“Our upcoming launch is exciting, but science and engineering projects with kids is the best. I might have had even more fun than they did” said Capt. Krystin Cooper, GEO Flight-4 project officer. “Those activities always inspired me to continue learning, which is something I get to do every day at AFSPC because there is so much to learn. I like to think we’ve inspired kids, and particularly some of the girls, to pursue careers in STEM related fields as they grow up, too”.
“SMC has a long track record of holding STEM events with students back in California and Colorado, added Col. Tony Meeks, deputy director of the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate. “But doing fun, educational things with the future Engineers out here in Florida, where all four SBIRS GEO launches will have taken place, is truly special. The entire team is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the local community that supports us so well and so consistently”.
You can follow the progress of the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 launch at the GEO Flight-4 Twitter handle: “@GEO3_Flight4” and the Space and Missile Systems Center’s social media sites.
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