HCC hosts Rockets Launch Day as part of Rockets Science Program

Apr 28, 2015

Houston Community College, the Houston Rockets, NASA and Space Center Houston proved today that the third time truly is a charm when it comes to hosting hundreds of middle school students as they launched their homemade rockets.

Two weather delays halted the launch of dozens of rockets earlier this spring; however, the weather finally cooperated.

Rockets Science, a program created from the partnership HCC has with the Houston Rockets, has provided over 400 middle school students an opportunity to learn from NASA curriculum about how to design and build a rocket. With guidance from Space Center Houston and teachers from each of the 10 participating schools, they took their interest in rocketry and science to new heights as their aircraft soared into the morning sky.

“This is a great opportunity for you today,” said Dr. Cesar Maldonado, HCC chancellor as he addressed the crowd. “You are part of a small, select group that is getting to explore science in a way others aren’t. We at HCC hope you will take what you’ve learned in this program and consider making it an option as you move ahead with your education. STEM careers are worth exploring. They offer exciting, challenging and almost unlimited opportunities.”

Students moved onto the soccer fields at HCC Northeast College to launch their rockets as the sky began to darken, but spirits were high. Cheers arose from the schools with the many successful and occasional unsuccessful launches. The goals of launch day were to not only have a good launch and maintain a good altitude, but also to fly a substantial distance and have the parachute deploy.

“We are so proud to see these young, smiling faces on our campus today,” said Eva Loredo, HCC trustee for District VIII. “As a former teacher and principal, I can tell you what an opportunity you have today.  I hope you will take this experience and learn from it to make a decision about where you want to go in life. We hope you will consider HCC as your college option in the years ahead.” She then added a special shout out to the students from Edison Middle School, the school she attended herself.

At the conclusion of the launch, awards were given out to the participating schools.

- Best Decorated Rocket Award: O'Donnell Middle School

- Most School Participation Award: O'Donnell Middle School

- Most Successful Payload Recovery Award:  Marshall Middle School

- Most Successful Rocket Launch Award: Jackson Middle School

Sarah Joseph, director of Community Relations for the Rockets said, “We want to thank the teachers and the schools for their participation. We hope you students have learned something new that you can take and use to open the door to opportunities in your future.”

Middle schools participating in the Rockets Science program were Attucks Middle School, Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, Marshall Middle School, Forest Brook Middle School, O’Donnell Middle School, Albright Middle School, Edison Middle School, Jackson Middle School, Quail Valley Middle School and Fondren Middle School.  

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