April 30, 2004
The Student Launch Initiative is an education program designed to allow high school and college students to experience practical aerospace and engineering activities. Working in teams, students demonstrate proof-of-concept for their designs, develop Web sites dedicated to their work, learn how to budget Â— including how to present financial proposals to NASA engineers and community leaders Â— and gain problem-solving skills.
"It's important for NASA to fuel students' interest in careers in science and engineering," said Jim Pruitt, manager of the Education Programs Department at the Marshall Center . "This initiative gives students hands-on experience building and launching rockets Â— to inspire the next generation of space explorers, and help our nation prepare our young people for the challenges ahead."
At the launch, student teams will attempt to reach an altitude of one mile with their rockets, and college teams will attempt to send their rockets two-miles high. All rockets will carry a scientific payload. The teams will be evaluated on their rocket design, including propulsion, materials, payload and safety features. NASA volunteers also will look at the target altitude, formal reviews and Web site designs.
Here's a link to the Marshall Space Flight Center Education Programs page for the Student Launch Initiative. It contains several good links for related information.
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