Released on: April 17, 2009, 3:32 am
Author: Jack Colpas, director / Helping Kids Reach for the Stars program
You have read about it and heard it in the news – students in the U.S. are falling behind in test scores.. We need to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math – the STEM subjects. To get them involved you have to get their attention. Nothing draws more attention than a rocket launch – except a rocket contest. To that end we offer the national Reach for the Stars Rocket Contest.
Rocket launches are great for publicity! Use the contest to advertise your presence, build your membership and /or raise funds. They are a terrific way to get kids excited about learning. Running a local event is as easy as 3, 2, 1. Three – find at least twelve contestants and order supplies. Two – build and launch your rockets. One – award certificates and prizes. A step-by-step video and on-line help are available to guide you.
Compete locally. Celebrate nationally. The contest, for ages 10 to adult, is designed to be run by local organizations, is safe, easy and affordable. Everyone benefits. All contestants get a reusable Estes model as well as the unforgettable experience of launching a solid-fuel powered rocket hundreds of feet into the sky. Everyone involved receives a commemorative achievement certificate – suitable for framing. Each certificate bears an inspirational quote from Christa McAuliffe. Sponsors receive recognition and the satisfaction of Helping Kids Reach for the Stars.
As Homer Hickam, author of “The Rocket Boys” (aka “October Sky”) recently stated, “What’s better than a rocket launch to inspire young people? They learn about science, engineering and, at the end, they get to launch a rocket.” Everyone remembers their first rocket launch. What other activity can you say that about?
The contest is in its third year. It runs continuously and has annual deadlines for each celebration. Go to TheRocketman.net for deadlines and details. Our six national winners get memories to last a lifetime and bragging rights for generations to come!
Results from local events are entered in the national contest. National winners get their choice of launching their rockets at the Astronaut Hall of Fame and celebrating at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – or they can celebrate with author, Homer Hickam and launch with the original Rocket Boys at theOctober Sky Festival in Coalwood, West Virginia. They will also receive a Space Shuttle Challenger – commemorative coin as well as other prizes.
Dr. Warren Layfield, Educational Director at COSROCS (Colorado Springs Rocket Society) and TARC mentor considers the Reach for the Stars Rocket Contest to be the “perfect training ground for kids who will go on to more challenging competitions like the Team America Rocketry Challenge and NASA’s Student Launch Initiative.”
Tickets to the Astronaut Hall of Fame and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for three national winners and their families are provided by DNC Parks. Lodging and breakfast is compliments of the award winning Country Inns and Suites by Carlson in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Without the generosity of these companies, the winners’ celebration would not be possible.
Your efforts will promote the Helping Kids Reach for the Stars program and honor the legacy of Christa McAuliffe – NASA’s first Teacher-in-Space.
Contact Details: Jack Colpas, director
Helping Kids Reach for the Stars program
Phone (941) 955-3958 Fax (206) 350-7880