Texas Tech T-STEM Center Invites Public to Student Rocket Launch

This one really is rocket science!

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No – it’s a rocket, launched from the campus of Texas Tech University.

Texas Tech’s T-STEM Center invites the public to bring their lawn chairs at 2 p.m. Friday (Aug. 1) to Urbanovsky Park (just east of the United Spirit Arena) to watch high school and middle school students showcase and launch rockets built during a week-long engineering camp. The camp sessions are taking place all week in the United Spirit Arena City Bank Conference Rooms.

The T-STEM (Texas-science, technology, engineering, math) Center received a $123,000 grant to fund the camp under a joint initiative by the Texas Workforce Commission and the Higher Education Coordinating Board, aimed at motivating students in STEM education.

“The Texas Workforce Commission has given our T-STEM Center an important opportunity to develop much-needed summer programs for students and to sustain proven models already thriving at Texas Tech,” said Dean Fontenot, managing director of the center.

John Chandler, co-director of the center, knows too, that the camp helps college-bound students be more prepared in particular subjects.

“We look forward to expanding our efforts to ensure that Texas students are college-ready and prepared for careers in tomorrow’s increasingly technology-driven economy,” Chandler said.

The camp challenges students to sharpen their math, science and technology skills as they discover engineering, while building and launching high-flying rockets. Sixty campers, ages 14-19, will investigate the physics that affect the stability of their rockets, and learn the mathematics needed to predict how high and fast they will go. The students will acquire engineering skills by designing a series of rockets that get more sophisticated as each design challenge gets more complicated. To test their designs, they will learn to use simulation software, altimeters and other technologies that engineers use. They also will participate in related activities throughout the week, including a Star Party at the Moody Planetarium.

CONTACT: John Chandler, co-director, Texas Tech University T-STEM Center,

(806) 742-3451, or john.chandler@ttu.edu.