Tech to send team to RockOn space workshop
A team from the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University has been selected to participate in RockOn 2019, a NASA-supported workshop that will give faculty and students the opportunity to learn more about rocketry while at the same time putting into practice their engineering problem solving skills.
In addition to Louisiana Tech’s lead principal investigator, Dr. Krystal Corbett, lecturer for mechanical engineering, and Dr. Mary Caldorera-Moore, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, molecular science and nanotechnology, and nanosystems engineering, three students will participate in the event: Abigail Phillips (chemical engineering), Allison Kumler (biomedical engineering) and Tess Hamilton (biomedical engineering).
RockOn was established by the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortium to provide participating students with the opportunity to work on an engineering project. The students who attend the workshop will get practical experience with sensors, electronics and spacecraft systems. At RockOn, the students will learn how to build a sounding rocket payload, or a RocketSat, through hands-on activities.
Activities like the ones that the team will perform at the workshop give Louisiana Tech students more real-world experience which, in turn, will make them better engineers, prepared for professional duties early. This preparedness will produce a stronger technical workforce in Louisiana.
Dr. Greg Guzik, director of the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium, says that this workshop will further provide participants with the aerospace experiences that the Louisiana Space Grant Consortium promotes for Louisiana students and mentors.
“In 2018, we sent our first set of Louisiana teams to the RockOn! workshop where teams build a payload for launch on a sounding rocket that carries the payloads beyond the Karman line at 100 kilometers altitude into space itself,” Guzik said. “In 2019, we are very proud to support our first all-female team from LaTech to participate in the sounding rocket workshop to begin their exploration of space. RockOn!”
“Bringing an all-female team to the RockOn summer program is an exciting opportunity to showcase what empowered females can accomplish while also providing a platform for our female engineering students to become role models to others in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields,” Corbett added.
This is the second year that teams from Louisiana have participated and the first year that a team from Louisiana Tech has participated. RockOn will be held June 14-22 at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
“I think this is a great opportunity for our students to apply the engineering problem-solving and programing skills they’ve developed through the freshman Living with the Lab series in a real-world setting,” Caldorera-Moore said. “I think it will be an amazing experience for our students to get to spend a week at the NASA Wallops Facility and to get to see the payload they build go up into a rocket!”