Carroll High School teacher Chris Patino joined other high school science teachers from Texas and New Mexico as they underwent a week of training in the SystemsGo rocketry curriculum. The training was July 10-16 at Hobbs Municipal Schools Training Center in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Rebekah Hyatt, Program Director, conducted the training, which included classroom instruction, field work, and rocket building that simulated SystemsGo’s project-based instructional strategies.
“The workshop included both theory and practice,” Hyatt said, “We try to model the process they will use in the classroom with students, to encourage independent learning and problem solving on their own. It was a good group that worked well together.”
SystemsGo is an innovative high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum developed at Fredericksburg High School (TX). Using project-based instruction, over four years students progress from drafting, CAD, and engineering design, to building rockets. First-level (Tsiolkovsky) students attempt to loft a one-pound payload one mile high. Second-generation (Oberth) projects send rockets past the speed of sound. Every spring, participating students gather at sites near Hobbs, New Mexico, Fredericksburg Texas, and Houston, Texas, to launch their rockets.
“This is an opportunity we are using to grow our engineering program and look forward to all Mr. Patino will do to grow our students with the new training,” said Carroll High Principal P.J. Giamanco.
This training covered all levels of SystemsGo. Depending on the level, teachers worked on Excel and flight profiles, on developing the mathematical model of a vehicle, and on troubleshooting actual rockets.
“I gave teachers the task of building a RockSim simulation based on previously built student rockets,” Hyatt said. “They were to find and fix issues typically seen in vehicle construction then complete a Flight Readiness Review. Teachers also worked with motor systems and assembled motor configurations, not so they could build the motor back in the classrooms, but to learn how to work with students and guide them through the process.”
“I gave them problems to work through and find mistakes,” she said. “The point is to not have teachers build the motors back in the classroom, but to learn how to work with students and guide them through the process.”
SystemsGo is now active in more than 50 high schools across Texas and New Mexico. Information on starting a program or supporting the nonprofit organization is available at www.systemsgo.org, 830-997-567, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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