Anytime a class can step outside and shoot off rockets, it’s a good day. But for Cooper High School's new aerospace engineering class, it's a time to take measurements and compare reports.
"We’re launching the rocket to take data for our reports," says Mo Dibba, a senior taking the class.
Teacher Tim Fitze says the class is one of the few offered in metro area schools. Cooper High School has an introductory aerospace class and plans to add civil architecture and design development in the future, which means students will have the option to take four years of engineering classes in high school.
"We need engineers and we need technical skills because companies want to grab high flyers like these after high school," says Fitze.
On rocket launch day, students are crunching numbers and recording outcomes. Students built the rockets and worked to chart the trajectory before stepping outside.
"Today we are finding a lot of them don't launch," explained Quinn Henthorne, a sophomore.
Students worked together, problem solving why rockets wouldn’t launch correctly, which was a sight teacher Tim Fitze was happy to see.
"Failure is not an option. I don’t like that quote. Failure is an option because you have to know what to do if it does fail," says Fitze. "When they figure it out without me telling them what to do, that’s a great learning experience."
Shannon Slatton, firstname.lastname@example.org
on Twitter: @sslatton