Earlier this month, Capitol College astronautical engineering students and faculty members traveled to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore for “Rocket Week.” The event started on June 15 and concluded on June 21, and more than 120 students and educators from across the country were in attendance.
Capitol students took part in the RockOn! workshop which was open to 50 university and community college-level participants. During the workshop, students built standardized experiments that were launched on a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket. The 35-foot-tall rocket flies to an altitude of about 75 miles. After launching the rocket, students conducted preliminary data analysis and they discussed their results. This was the sixth year that the workshop was held.
"Rocket Week brings together students and teachers from across the country to experience first-hand the exciting world of rocketry," said Joyce Winterton, senior advisor for education and leadership development at Wallops. "For students, it provides them valuable experience to blend with academics for their future STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. The educators gain valuable experience to expand their curriculum in the classroom and mentor students for STEM majors and careers."
These programs continue NASA's investment in the nation's education programs by supporting the goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM disciplines critical to the future of space exploration.
Capitol College offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree in astronautical engineering. Bachelor’s students graduate fully prepared to become NASA mission specialists, create software applications and design electrical systems for space missions. Those enrolled in the master’s program develop the necessary skills to lead satellite subsystem design projects, work on mission operations and analysis, and excel in the areas of project management and system engineering.
The college’s Space Operations Institute (SOI) was established at Capitol College in 2002 with a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and is a consortium of NASA, industry, government and education partners. The Institute combines the infrastructure necessary to manage satellite operations with an educational program that prepares students for careers in all aspects of space mission operations. SOI builds upon Capitol’s established engineering foundation and works closely with NASA to understand the aerospace industry’s changing skill requirements.