Educational Engagement

In previous years, the Rocket Girls have set records for the number of persons reached by one team for USLI. However, for the 2012-2013 competition year the Rocket Girls are focusing on the quality of outreach events. The outreach goal for the Rocket Girls is 2,000 persons with 500 of the total being 6th through 8th grade students. The team members encourage diversity in engineering, science, and mathematics for each outreach event by reaching out to females in grades K-12 to ensure they take an interest in such subjects in the classroom. The Rocket Girls allow for personal interaction with students by allowing the children to have creative and hands-on experience with rockets, science, and math intensive activities. Also, the team will place emphasis on reaching out to students in grades 6th through 8th due to the influential nature of the students at those ages.

Various outreach events are planned, are being planned, and will be planned through the year. The Rocket Girls will be assisted in a few outreach events by other organizations and members at the university. Kathy will oversee the educational engagement process, presentations, and lesson plans for local schools, libraries, and other outreach locations. Each member of the team is encouraged to present a presentation at a school of their choice. Social media, Facebook, and YouTube will also be used as a medium for educational engagement.

Outreach Methods and Target Audience

EE BookmarkOne of the major events the Rocket Girls have planned for the future will occur in March of 2013. The Rocket Girls will hold a small rocket workshop for middle and high school children and instructors. The workshop will last for two days and be held in Tuscaloosa at The University of Alabama. We would like to host at least 150 children at this workshop where each child will have an Estes Generic E2X Model Rocket to build.

On the first day of the workshop, the children and teachers will receive their rocket kits, and the Rocket Girls will instruct them about safety for building and launching rockets. Safety is the highest priority for any launch event. A team member will assume the role of building instructor for the workshop. She will take the attendees step-by-step through the construction process of the rocket kits. There will be intervals where glue is drying, at which time the Rocket Girls will take advantage of the free time and present information on how rockets work, the forces that act upon the rocket, different parts of the rocket, and what to expect on launch day. The building process will take approximately 6 hours to complete, not including glue drying time.

The second day of the workshop will be launch day. The Rocket Girls would like to launch at the University of Alabama Recreation Fields on campus. This will be a safe location for a launch due to lack of obtrusive objects such as power lines and trees. Before any launches, the safety officer for the Rocket Girls, Tiesha, will again go over launch day procedures and answer any safety needs for the launch. The most appropriate engine size for the age group is Estes A8-3. These are small enough engines that the rockets will be able to easily be recovered. After the Rocket Girls assist and show the attendees how to correctly prepare their rockets for launch, each person will be escorted by a team member to a launch pad. Once correctly wired for launch, there will be a countdown and an ignition, flight, and recovery of the rocket.

With the outreach events to schools, libraries, and other locations, the Rocket Girls want to encourage all students to become more involved and interested in science with the hope that they will view engineering, science, or mathematics as a possible career opportunity. The team also would like to encourage teachers to promote science, mathematics, and engineering in the classroom by providing the necessary tools for implementation.
The target audience will include students of all ages with an emphasis on children in the 6th through 8th grade. Due to the broad age groups, the Rocket Girls have prepared different presentations to account for the academic levels of each student age group. In addition to these presentations, the Rocket Girls also hope to provide teachers with an opportunity to be more knowledgeable on integrating engineering into math and science lectures and classes. Using the Alabama Course of Study, the Rocket Girls will use the following schema for presenting information for each grade:

 Preschool and Grades K-4

Identify basic components of the solar system, such as:
     Sun
     Planets
     Moons
Describe parts of the rocket
Describe the impact that weather has on the rocket
     Wind

Grades 5-8

Identify steps used within the scientific process
     Creating a hypothesis about payload
     Using charts and graphs from data collected
     Measuring dimension, volume, and mass using SI units
Identify Newton’s three laws of motion
     Defining terminology such as action and reaction forces, inertia, acceleration
     Interpreting distance-time graphs

Grades 9-12

Explain linear, uniform circular, and projectile motions using one- and two-dimensional vectors
     Explaining the significance of slope and area under a curve with velocity-time data
     Describing forces that act on an object
Describe basic forces and physics principles

The Rocket Girls’ presentation and activities will be modified according to the class, academic level, and the preference of the school and/or teacher. Should the teacher and/or contact allow hands-on activities, videos will be presented according to the grade level.
Additionally, social media will be used as a part of educational engagement. Social networking websites such as Facebook and YouTube will allow students and teachers with internet access to follow the Rocket Girls progress in USLI as well as incorporate educational videos into their lesson plans. On the Rocket Girls website, PowerPoint presentations, hands-on activities, and additional educational material will be available. Another feature for using social media for educational engagement is to allow followers to become more involved with the Rocket Girls by knowing launch dates and other outreach events.

Contact - The Internet and Social Media

In addition, social media will also be used as educational engagement. Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter will allow students and teachers from all over to access the Rocket Girls. The Rocket Girls’ YouTube account will allow teachers to incorporate educational videos into their lesson plans. The educational engagement team has also worked to create lesson plans that the educators can use in the classroom, involving crafts, quizzes, presentations and virtual tours. One example of this is the coloring page pictured below, our two mascots Haley and Comet (her dog)

To find out more about how to contact us to visit your school, or to ask us any questions, check out our facebook, twitter, youtube accounts and email!!


Educational Engagement Information

To find out more about our educational engagement activities and curriculum, explore the links below.