June 13, 2011 — Summer blasts off today for 200 middle school students in Lamont who are attending the NASA Summer of Innovation Rocketry Camp. The camp is a collaborative project between California State University, Bakersfield and Lamont School District who worked together to receive a $32,500 grant from the Aerospace, Education Research and Operations (AERO)-Institute partnering with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. The camp takes place June 13-16 and June 20-22 at Myrtle Avenue Grade School, with the culminating rocket launch happening June 23 on the CSUB campus.
The hands-on summer camp involves students from Mountain View Middle School in Lamont learning rocketry principles aligned with California state standards in science, math, technology, and language arts using curriculum provided by NASA. Students work in teams to solve challenges that are engaging and fun as they build, test and ultimately launch their model rockets.
The instructors for the summer camp include six classroom teachers from the Lamont School District, and seven pre-service teachers from CSUB's federally funded Edvention Fellowship Program. Two faculty from CSUB, Dr. Ron Hughes and Dr. Carl Kloock, along with teacher Troy Tenhet from Panama Buena Vista School District, are advising and providing professional development for the project. An additional partner in this project is Taft College, which provided $4,000 in specialized scientific rocket building supplies.
"A good science program requires student interest and excitement. NASA is a brand name that everybody knows. It starts the excitement just with mentioning the name," Hughes said.
"Building strong partnerships that introduce middle school students to exciting learning opportunities and the idea of attending college will bolster CSUB's effort to increase the college going rate in Kern County," said Curt Guaglianone, CSUB Principal Investigator for the program.
This is the second year of NASA's Summer of Innovation program, which will serve 40,000 students nationwide this summer. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center's program will reach more than 2,000 students in Southern California and Arizona.
"CSUB and Lamont School District are prime examples of outstanding organizations that are committed to both teacher development and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities for students," said Russ Billings, Pre-College Programs Manager for the AERO Institute. "Working with both of these programs allows us to have a multiplying effort with NASA materials and resources for both teachers and students."
For more information:
NASA's Summer of Innovation
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications