Goddard Level Rocket Program
Students in the Systems Go! Rockets II class at Brazoswood High School are taking their engineering skills to the next level by participating in the Goddard Level Rocket Program through Systems Go! next fall.
SystemsGo! is an innovative high school rocketry/aeroscience curriculum that uses project-based learning to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to develop skills in teamwork, problem solving, and leadership, and to encourage careers in the engineering industries. The program has been featured on NBC Nightly News, is endorsed by NASA and certified by The Space Foundation. It is now used in high schools in Texas and New Mexico.
Brazoswood High School students in the current Systems Go! Rockets II course typically design and build a rocket that weighs
about 13 pounds that will fly through the sound barrier at 13,000 feet and recover intact, which is an impressive task. However, in next year’s course, Practicum of STEM Rockets II, students will attempt to build and fly a rocket designed to perform at the “Goddard” level. The mission of this rocket is to take a 35 pound scientific payload to an altitude of 100,000 feet which is over 7 times greater than the original goal of the Rockets II course. These vehicles can weigh up to 600 pounds, be 18 feet long and fly at speeds above Mach-2. This rocket will be flown with the support of the US Army at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Each student will first create a mathematical model that predicts the flight profile of the rocket. This model will be presented to and approved by engineers at NASA, Johnson Space Center, before receiving permission to build the vehicle. Using skills learned in previous STEM courses and Rockets 1, students must design and construct the hybrid motor system, rocket body, nose cone and all other rocket components. Students evaluate vehicle performance in the final phase of the program.
After passing Critical Design Reviews and Flight Readiness Reviews, students will fly the rocket during the summer of 2018. The knowledge and skills provided through this course not only prepares students to be college and future ready, it also provides students a huge advantage when going into STEM and engineering fields. Graduates of these courses have been known to work in leadership positions at NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, and other prestigious industries and schools across the country. For these students it really is Rocket Science!