Area middle school students take part in annual rockets launch event at HCC
Apr 6, 2016
Excitement and anticipation filled the air at Houston Community College (HCC) Northeast as more than 200 middle school students launched rockets into the clear, blue sky. The students represent over two-dozen schools from various districts.
The second annual “Rockets Launch” was the culmination of the “Rockets Science” program - a partnership between HCC, The Houston Rockets, and Space Center Houston in which the students learned the basics of rocketry during live webinars with Space Center Houston scientists.
“Thank you to the Rockets and Space Center Houston,” said Adriana Tamez, Ed.D., chair, HCC Board of Trustees. “Because of this partnership, students pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math. All these students are here to celebrate their hard work. They are seeing it in action!“
For the students this was an unprecedented experience.
“I learned that if you want something to actually work you have to do it step-by-step and right,” said Alani Deanda, seventh grader at Patrick Henry Middle School, as she was about to see her rocket shoot into the air.
For fellow classmate Evan Medina, the part he enjoyed the most was the process.
“Building a rocket was cool. I got to know the people I worked with. The teamwork was great,” said Medina. “You had to be there, you could not miss any of the classes.”
HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E., reinforced how this knowledge will stay with the students the rest of their lives.
“Students are learning the importance of math. Math is in everything we do,” he said. “This will flip the switch on to get them excited about a career in science. Rocket science is a great vehicle for getting us there.”
The month-long “Rockets Science” program also provided students a peek at the new frontiers NASA and Space Center Houston are exploring.
“NASA is now in the journey to Mars. The students in this program today may very well be the engineers, the astronauts, and the scientists to make that giant leap possible. We are so happy to help inspire those students,” said Daniel Mewmyer, Director of Education, Space Center Houston.
Students also got a chance to meet Rockets legends Moochie Norris and Robert Horry.
“The things this program exposes my students to are invaluable,” said Beverly Pointer, seventh grade science teacher, Albright Middle School.
At the conclusion of the launch, awards were given to the participating schools:
Best Decorated Rocket – Pin Oak Middle School
Most Successful Payload Separation – O’Donnell Middle School
Most Successful Rocket Recovery – Hartman Middle School
Most School Participation – Jane Long Middle School
To learn about the STEM programs at HCC, please visit hccs.edu.