Understand How Rocketry Helps to Ignite Kids’ Interest in STEM
Theory based conceptual learning has now become classroom pedagogy of the past. Increasingly, instructors, schools and parents are seeking hands-on activities, real-world projects and application based learning workshops in the areas of STEM. STEM careers will increase by 17 percent by 2020; however, during the past two decades, college students graduating with these subjects are down to a huge extent. And teachers need to not only develop kids’ interest in STEM, but also assist them see it as a career path.
One way to do that? Teach STEM through hands-on experience building and launching model rockets. And we at High Octane Aerosports in Pune are doing just that.
Kids should develop interest in STEM. They also must see it as a career path down the line. One way to do that is through model rocketry.
Rocketry – STEM off to Space
In this day and age, kids rarely get to build something like a rocket. They feel a big sense of accomplishment when the model rocket is built and then successfully launched. Many of our kids participants love the excitement and the adrenaline rush of launching the rockets. Few schools invite us to make rocketry as part of their STEM curriculum or for conducting rocketry workshops. We also relate the model rocketry to what NASA and ISRO do when they launch missions to space. This leaves kids with a greater appreciation of what space scientists and astronauts do.
Anuja, a participant of Rocketry workshop says, “I am excited about Rockets as I love space and robotics – and here was our chance to build and fly our own rockets! To build rockets powerful enough to reach Moon and beyond, we need to learn how to get rockets to lift off the Earth.”
In order to spread the wings of rocketry in multiple cities in India, we are also developing an educator program. Our aim is to encourage kids’ imaginations through hands-on, applied learning with rocketry; provide teachers and youth leaders with lesson plans and STEM curriculum involving rocketry; and ultimately motivate students in STEM and develop their problem-solving skills.
The kids who’re mastering rocketry and getting engaged in STEM are our future engineers, scientists and astronauts. So teaching them now and preparing them for a potential career in aerospace is honestly interesting.
Rocketry – The STEM Thing
Firstly, rockets involve concepts such as gravity, trajectory, thrust, principles of flight, aerodynamics, Newton’s Laws of Motion and problem-solving. There’s such an emphasis on STEM. And this is such a natural fit because it’s an applied science. Our fingers, hands and minds, all get involved. Get to see it applied. It’s not just a theory. See the real lift off and recovery. It’s definitely an introduction to science.
We are looking forward to a very near future where rocketry would be as easy for any student as it is to go through their standard science curriculum in schools.