March 11, 2011

NW Indian College competes in rocket contest

NW Indian College competes in rocket contest

By Zoe FraleyWhat started as experiments with soda bottles has grown into a big competition--and an even bigger rocket--for students at Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Indian Reservation.

A class of students is competing in NASA's University Student Launch Initiative, in which students from about 30 universities throughout the country design, build and launch reusable rockets.

The competition will take place over three days in April in Alabama, and NASA officials visited the students Thursday, March 10, to check the progress with their nearly 8-foot-tall rocket.

"They're doing a great job. I'm very impressed, especially with them being a first-year entry," said Chuck Pierce of NASA. "They're doing very well. I'd put them toward the top of the groups we've seen."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Rocket Boy at Sundance and First Native Rocket Scientist?

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

At Northwest Indian College, It’s Rocket Science, as Students Apply Learning to Competing

The clich├ęd exhortation to “reach for the stars!” has taken on new, practical meaning as students at Northwest Indian College (NWIC), located within the Lummi Nation, in Bellingham, Washington prepare to compete this year in NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative. USLI is scheduled for blast-off on April 21 at Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama, which is near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The NASA program requires students to design, develop and launch a reusable rocket that carries a science data-gathering payload. Under USLI criteria, the rocket must return to Earth in good-enough shape that it can have its motor replaced and be relaunched. Shooting rockets high into the sky is great fun, but the initiative’s ultimate goal is to encourage college-level students to pursue careers in engineering and other science, technology and mathematics fields.

At NWIC, Team SkyWalkers—more than a dozen students from five tribes ranging in age from 19 to 58—are building their rocket under the watchful eye of faculty advisor Gary Brandt, who has taught sciences, computers, electronics, robotics and a little bit of physics at NWIC since 1989.