Space Exploration Merit Badges

Our local University students passed along some of their knowledge and enthusiasm to younger learners through a weekend model rocketry event.

Space Exploration merit badge emblemThe boys gathered to work on their Space Exploration Merit Badge requirements in a peaceful educational setting at the local scout ranch.

Study and preparations for launch

After some time learning about the theory and terminology, boys built their own rockets and prepared them for launch.

Scouts waiting for their turn to launch

The scout ranch gave the boys plenty of room for their launches, so there were no concerns for “lost” payloads ending up on private property and unrecoverable by the boys.

TAMU students provided guidance and safety through the day.The Texas A&M students provided guidance and safety throughout the day, giving their time to support these eager young learners. It was a hot clear day, but the boys kept hydrated and groups of both Texas A&M students and parents ensured that our scouts were kept out of harm’s way.

Gatherins after each launch discussed the event.After each group’s launch attempt, the boys would gather to ask questions and discuss the relative success (or occasional failure) of the launch.

At the end of the day, all rockets had a chance to ascend to the skies and the boys managed to learn a thing or two.When the day finally concluded, all rockets had left the launch-pads at least once and the boys managed to learn something during their adventure! The TAMU Students Serving Scouting, parents and fellow scouts provided a tremendous learning opportunity to these boys. At the end of the day, we gathered up books, rockets, launch frames, and everything was readied for the next group’s adventure in learning!

Everything stowed away at day's end.

STEM opportunities can arise from almost any event if you take time to prepare and to be ready to jump in to assist. Whether learning about calculating the height of a rocket’s launch using basic trigonometry or Newton’s Laws regarding the effect of changing launch mass/thrust ratios, a simple afternoon and a little gear can provide tremendous incentives to young learners as they look forward in their lives. Perhaps one of the boys here will lead explorers to Mars, pilot an aircraft, or any number of other trades of value to our Nation and the people of the world!

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