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For release: 04/22/03
Release #: 03-062


Huntsville area high school students turn dreams into reality with NASA's Student Launch Initiative

Photo description: Students prepare for 2001 Student Launch Initiative

Students from four Huntsville, Ala., area high schools get their chance to prove they have the "right stuff" this Saturday. That's when the rockets designed and built by student teams during the school year lift off as part of NASA's high-flying Student Launch Initiative.

Photo: Huntsville's Johnson High School prepares for launch during the 2001 Student Launch Initiative season. (NASA/MSFC)


Students from four Huntsville, Ala., area high schools get their chance to prove they have the "right stuff" Saturday, May 3. That's when the rockets designed and built by student teams during the school year lift off as part of NASA's high-flying Student Launch Initiative.

The event, sponsored by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, will be held at an Army test range on Redstone Arsenal. Participating schools include Johnson High School and New Century Technology High School in the Huntsville city system, Sparkman High School in the Madison County system, and Bob Jones High School in the Madison city system.

Each team, under the guidance of Marshall Center engineers, will launch a reusable rocket, aiming for an altitude of one mile, and carrying a science payload. After recovering the payload focused on biology, physics or model rocketry improvement, students will investigate the effects of low gravity on their projects. Including the one-mile goal, Marshall engineers evaluate the students on their rocket design, including propulsion, materials, payload, and safety features.

"This event highlights one of NASA's missions: to inspire the next generation of explorers," said Jim Pruitt, manager of the Education Programs Department at the Marshall Center. "These students work hand-in-hand with NASA mentors, which gives them an opportunity to see the real-world challenges faced daily by NASA engineers, designers and scientists. Developing problem-solving and design skills takes on additional excitement when combined with model rocketry. The benefits of such an experience are immeasurable."

Marshall's Student Launch Initiative is a hands-on, interdisciplinary learning program for high school students at schools within a 50-mile radius of Huntsville.

For more information, please visit the Student Launch Initiative Web site at:

http://education.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/127.htm

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Diversity News Web site


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