LISD course pushes students to great heights - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LISD course pushes students to great heights

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) -   A course new to LISD offered is pushing students to great height. It's not rocket science, but it sure is close.

Students are designing rockets as a part of All Systems Go, a course that Dewayne Wallace teaches at the Byron Martin ATC.

"Most of the questions they ask I answer back with a question," explained Wallace about his techniques to encourage critical thinking in the classroom.  "We need to teach these kids to think. We have the lowest percent of kids going through and getting engineering degrees."

Computer software helps students with the more complex calculations and pushes them to use numbers in ways they may never have before. The IGNITE program started in Fredricksburg 10 years ago and is endorsed by NASA. It is an agency that Timothy McNeill hopes to be a part of one day.

"My dream is to work at NASA and build my own rocket," said McNeill who goes to Lubbock High.

"I want to be an architect so this goes hand in hand with engineering," said Tyler Rude, a student at Monterey High School. "We've worked for weeks so it is the moment of truth."

After counting down students launched their 3rd Generation rockets that they spent hours working to build.

"It really wakes them up if they didn't enjoy physics or like science and now they can see the results," said Wallace. 

The goal was to reach 1500 feet in the sky and launch a stable and well built rocket. Some were more successful than others

It is an opportunity pushing beyond the limits of the sky. "If they can come away thinking about ways to do things then my goal is achieved," said Wallace.

Next semester the students will need approval from the FAA to launch the rocket they will build. Wallace says other schools that already offer the program have seen students go on to pursue careers in rocket science.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

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