Category Archives: Education

Rocket Science Tutors (RST)

Rocket Science Tutors (RST) aims to help students boost their studies in t Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM):

RST is a 501C-3 non-profit, all-volunteer organization comprised of technical professionals and engineering graduate students dedicated to exciting students about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). RST brings STEM to life with an extensive 24 week, inquiry based, after school program structured on California standards. Since 2005, RST has developed and honed a classroom-proven approach that has the potential to be expanded for use across the country.

RST believes it is imperative to create interest in math, science and engineering before students enter high school. A common complaint by students is “Why study math… I’ll never use it!” since they typically do not see the link between math and science. Because algebra is the gateway to higher-level math, and therefore science and engineering, the student’s failure to grasp algebra effectively limits the pursuit of a technical career. For this reason, RST addresses the challenge at the 8th grade Algebra level.

The backbone of the RST program is the weekly lab requiring students to build an experiment, use math skills to calculate the expected outcome, measure that performance and compare the results. This reinforces the link between math and science and provides the thrill of “hands-on“ engineering. Analysis of student performance data shows strong correlation between attendance at RST sessions and improved test scores. It should be noted that RST volunteers include female technical professionals who provide outstanding role models for female students.

RST works under the direction of the teaching staff to reinforce lesson plans in a weekly after-school session structured to excite students about “aerospace” applications of math being learned in the classroom. Our purpose is to support the teacher by first helping students to learn the classroom material and then to gain an appreciation of this material through discussions, examples and sample problems.


RocketSTEM releases free magazine for young people and educators

Here is an announcement of a new magazine oriented towards young people with the goal of encouraging them to purse studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I must note, though, that this issue is totally focused on NASA and is devoid of any acknowledgement of any space activities in the private sector. For young people who want to time travel back to the Space Age of the 1960’s, this is definitely the magazine for them. For those who want to know about the New Space Age in their own future and about the opportunities opening up for them to participate in space development and even to go to space themselves, then this publication, at least if this issue is the standard, won’t give them a single clue.  I can only hope future issues will correct this enormous flaw in their approach.

RocketSTEM releases free magazine to inspire children and help educators

Sparking the imaginations of students and inspiring them to pursue knowledge and careers within the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is the main focus of a new digital magazine which released its first issue this week.

RocketSTEM is the first project of a private, not-for-profit organization formed to foster STEM education efforts, and to promote space exploration. The magazine, which is FREE to view or download, may be read online at the organization’s website – – as well as at and

Among the featured items in the premier issue are:
• One-on-one conversations with Apollo 17 astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt.
• The story behind Apollo 17, the last manned mission to the Moon.
• The twin Voyager spacecraft continue to make discoveries as they near the edge of the solar system.
• An interview with Flight Director Emily Nelson profiling her work within NASA’s Mission Control Center.
• The Curiosity rover embarks on a lifetime of discovery on the surface of Mars.
• Joy abounds for participants during a NASA Social event at JPL.
• A spotlight on the National Naval Aviation Museum.
• And much, much more. Sixty-eight pages of pure content. No advertising

Each issue of RocketSTEM will have a wide variety of content geared to appeal to everyone from little kids to adults, as well as teaching aids for primary and secondary school educators. The publication will mix in space history – past, present and future – along with interviews, career paths, astronomy lessons, aerospace news, museum features, NASA tech spinoffs, puzzles, games, quizzes, lesson plans and other educational resources, and easy-to-follow explanations of the mathematics and physics of all things to do with space travel.

The first issue of RocketSTEM was produced by an all-volunteer staff comprised of journalists, photographers, scientists, teachers and even students. In all, nearly 30 people contributed to the production of the first issue.

“One of my most satisfying moments while I was covering the end of the Space Shuttle program as a journalist, was going to the KSC Visitor Center and giving kids prints of some of my Shuttle photos so they’d have something for the ‘astronaut of the day’ to sign,” said RocketSTEM founder Chase Clark. “It was a most rewarding experience, but I wanted to do much more. I wanted to make a real difference in inspiring the children of America to dream big and become the next generation of rocket scientists and astronauts, as well as hopefully elevate the public’s perception of NASA and space exploration. Lucky for me, I have a lot of friends who feel the same way. They volunteered their time and expertise to help take RocketSTEM from conception all the way through the production and release of the first issue in just three months time.”

RocketSTEM will be releasing new issues as Spring (April) and Summer (June) editions before moving to a monthly production schedule with the August 2013 issue. As well as being free to read online, future plans include releasing each issue as an enhanced multimedia application for tablet computers such as the iPad. A limited number of printed copies of the magazine also are available and may be purchased at .

RocketSTEM Media Foundation, a private, non-for-profit was established in 2012. Based in Pensacola, Florida, the organization has volunteers located throughout the United States, England and several other countries. While focused on development of the magazine for the time being, the foundation has plans to develop comprehensive classroom lesson plans to be used by teachers at all grade levels. It also will be endowing a scholarship fund for college students pursuing aerospace studies, and for younger students wishing to attend Space Camp in Alabama or the National Flight Academy in Florida.

NASA/Ahoora sponsor What If? rocketry contest for high schoolers

An announcement from about the What If? Live Student Design Challenge:

NASA, Ahoora Foundation Unite to Ignite
Students’ Passion for Science, Space, and Technology

WASHINGTON — Candy, soda and other everyday items will be the tools of the trade for teenage rocket makers competing in the What If? Live Student Design Challenge, which was kicked off Tuesday by NASA and the Ahoora Foundation of Plano, Texas. Registration is open through Feb. 28 for the worldwide contest, in which 14- to 18-year-old students will design experimental propulsion systems using materials that are cheap and easy to get.

What If? is designed to excite students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal is to develop their creative and analytical abilities by learning about the growing need for green fuels and designing a vehicle propulsion system using commonly available materials, including sweet treats and carbonated beverages. Students in two age categories, 14-16 and 17-18, may work alone or in groups of as many as four. They must create a research plan, write a research paper, develop and build the propulsion system, make a video showing the vehicle in action, and submit the video to judges via

A panel of scientists, astronauts and educators will judge the entries and select finalists. There will be one winning design in each age category. Winners will be announced in May and receive special recognition from NASA and Ahoora.

To register, submit research, and learn more about vehicle design, the official rules and other information about the What If? Live Student Design Challenge, including view a two-minute video of the propulsion system in action, visit: