National Association of Rocketry
National Association of Rocketry
Educator's Newsletter
April 2016
In this issue:
Small NAR Logo
Springing Ever Forward

Students are very busy with rockets this time of year. The TARC teams are attempting to qualify for the finals with their egglofters, NASA Student Launch Project groups are preparing for their April flights with NAR, and other schools are launching for their Spaceweek activities. As the Spring weather breaks the rockets come out and go up. But it's not just to harness the seasonal energy the students have, it's to teach STEM with rocketry, and it works.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and National Association of Rocketry (NAR), are receiving the 2015 Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Award for Aerospace Education Leadership. The Award was established by National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE) in 1995 to distinguish and honor excellence in aerospace education. AIA and NAR are recognized for their Team America Rocketry Challenge which over the years has influenced thousands of students to study STEM. Congratulations to AIA and NAR for winning, and to all the students who fly for TARC in the Spring, who are also winners.

Aim high! 
Vince Huegele
NAR Education Chairman
TARC logo 2016 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) 

The TARC is the world's largest rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the National Association of Rocketry in partnership with AAPT, DoD, NASA, and AIA member companies.
Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's engineering design process, TARC challenges teams to design and build a model rocket (650 grams or less in weight, 650 millimeters or more in length using NAR-certified commercially-made model rocket motors of "F" or lower power class) capable of carrying a payload of two raw hen's eggs (one of the two eggs must be flown oriented with its long axis perpendicular to the long axis of the rocket's body, and the other egg must be flown with its long axis parallel to long axis of the rocket's body) for  a flight duration of 44-46 seconds to an altitude of exactly 850 feet (measured by an onboard altimeter) and then return the egg to earth uncracked using a recovery device of the team's choice. 
In a few days, AIA will notify the top 100 teams of the registered teams competing in TARC 2016 of their status and invite them to attend the TARC Finals on May 14, 2016 at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA. Selection was based on the best qualification flight score reports submitted by teams by the deadline of April 4, 2016   

Outreach Contest
A 101st spot at the National Finals will be awarded to a team that submits qualifying scores of at least two valid launches but would otherwise not make the cutoff for the National Finals. The criteria and other details are  here.

Congratulations to the Finalists, and to all the teams who achieved a successful qualification flight. Building a complex rocket with two eggs as its payload and making it fly correctly is not easy, and any team achieving this result successful achieved the educational goals of TARC. The challenge goal for TARC 2017 will be announced at the TARC 2016 Finals. Registration for TARC 2017 will open in September 2016. 

NAR 4322 L3
TARC Manager
Small NAR LogoNAR Scholarship Program, Robert L. Cannon Award, and Extracurricular Activity Grant Awards
Did you know that if you are NAR member between the ages of 17 and 22 attending college or a vocational school that you may be eligible to receive a scholarship?

Are you a teacher or educator who uses model rocketry in the classroom?  You are welcome to apply for a $500 grant to use in your program. 

In 2001, the NAR's scholarship and Robert L. Cannon educational awards were inaugurated.  Since 2010, we have awarded up to ten $500 Cannon grants and ten scholarships per year.  

In 2015, a new program, the NAR Extracurricular Activity Grant (EAG) was initiated to provide up to ten $500 grants for after-school activities, such as rocket clubs, scout, Civil Air Patrol, 4-H, or NAR section programs involving model rocketry.  TARC teams are not eligible for these awards.  

The deadline for applications is June 1st

Both of these programs are ongoing.  See for details on how to apply.  If you have questions concerning either program, please contact  Joyce Guzik, via email:

Interested in a Fellowship this Summer?
The IISME Summer Fellowship Program places eligible K-16 teachers of all subjects into high-performance work sites for the summer. Teachers work full-time for eight weeks, complete a project for their Fellowship Hosts, and are paid $9,000 for their work. Teachers also spend 10% of their paid time focusing on how they will transfer their Summer Fellowship experience back to their students and colleagues.

Sacknoff Prize for Space History
To encourage research and writing in space history, Quest: The History of Spaceflight is offering $300 and a publishing opportunity to our upper-class undergraduate or graduate level students.  If you are writing a paper on any aspect of spaceflight history, considering submitting it to Check out the details here--Space History. 



NASA Cool Link:  Rocket Science 101
A website where you can learn about the basic parts of a real launch vehicle, how they are configured, and how they work together to launch a NASA spacecraft.  Great for students who want to build a virtual rocket.  
      National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education   

Congratulations to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and National Association of Rocketry (NAR), recipients of the Dr. Mervin K. Strickler Award for Aerospace Education Leadership over an extended period of time.

We invite you and representatives from your organization to share in this celebration of a well-earned, prestigious award on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 3:30 PM-7:30 PM at the beautiful Capital Visitor's Center, HVC-201AB.  Please confirm your attendance with Shelia Bauer, NCASE Awards Co-Chair at:  It will be an elegant afternoon for this well-deserved recognition! 

AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Award
Do you know a deserving K-12 Classroom teacher that deserves to be recognized? Honor a K-12 classroom teacher for the work they do to support the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in its efforts to bring "real world" STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to the classroom in new and exciting ways.  Nominate teachers who excite and engage students through STEM content and experiences. Through this recognition, AIAA celebrates the "best and brightest" educators for inspiring students. Each award recipient will be honored at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala.

A nominee may be any K-12 teacher who supports AIAA in its efforts to bring "real world" STEM experiences to students. Past recipients may not apply for this award a second time. All recipients must be or become an AIAA Educator Associate member. Preference will be given to educators who demonstrate active participation and use of AIAA resources in their classroom.
Questions? Contact Carol Stewart at or 703.264-7623.
Subscribe to the NCASE Monthly Newsletter and find out what  thousands of young people and educators are doing!

Uses Model Rocketry for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math  (STEM)
Rocketry is one of the most enjoyable projects 4-H has to offer. 4-H and the National Association of Rocketry have formed a partnership to help students learn about model rocketry and STEM. 

Delaware County and Pennsylvania State University
Delaware County 4-H, for example, provides Rocketry School Enrichment and After School Enrichment Programs that help students meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards in science. 4-H project books are available for Delaware County, Pennsylvania classroom teachers, home school families, and after school clubs to use with students.  

Olympic Peninsula Rocketry in Jefferson County, Washington State
John Ludwig leads this  4-H club  devoted to rocketry - he is enthusiastic about rocketry and eager to share it with Jefferson County youth!  OPROC meets at the Irondale Educational Annex adjacent to the Irondale Church and will host its next Pasture Blaster in August 2016.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP)

Promotes and Supports Aerospace Education  

CAP educational programs (for its own members and the general public) help prepare American citizens to meet the challenges of a sophisticated aerospace society and understand its related issues. CAP and the national Association of rocketry have formed a partnership to help students learn about model rocketry and STEM.


Muñoz Air National Guard Base Cadet Squadron, Puerto Rico
The  Muñoz Air National Guard Base Cadet Squadron held a two-part Model Rocketry School in Trujillo Alto, with written and hands-on phases conducted separately for the 29 participating cadets.


Online instruction and exams were followed by the hands-on designing and building of Redstone, Titan, and Saturn stages rockets, culminating in launching.


Before the school began, Lt. Col. Janice Borrero, external aerospace education officer for Puerto Rico Wing Group VI, prepared, designed and moderated online sessions in which the cadets read about rocketry, watched instructional videos and took the exams for the three stages.


For the subsequent hands-on phase, with the help of the unit's senior and cadet staff Lt. Col. Juan Toro - Group VI officer for internal aerospace education and for cadet programs - taught the cadets how to build the Fizzy Flyer rocket, the Goddard Rocket, and two single-stage model rockets (air-powered and engine-powered).


The next day the participants moved to the launch area. After receiving safety instruction and a review of the National Association of Rocketry Safety Code, cadets watched their rockets lift off.


Once the launches were conducted, the squadron's commander, Lt. Col. Ismael Rodríguez, certified all 29 cadets as having completed the program and awarded them with the Model Rocketry badge and patch.   Check it out!

National Standards-based Products
CAP offers national standards-based educational products, including a secondary textbook, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, and the middle-school-level Aerospace Dimensions. Aerospace Education Members can get classroom materials and lesson plans from CAP... 

It's spring...the prime time for model rocketry at schools Estes Educator works with many educators daily, getting lots of calls and emails from teachers and youth group leaders who have never built and launched a model rocket but who want to do that with their students. Can you guess the two questions first-time rocketry teachers ask the most? They are "How do I get started  teaching model rocketry?" and "What materials do I need to teach model rocketry?" These questions can be answered in 13 steps. And don't forget to check out their new downloadable iPhone app!

Help NASA find new disks, homes of extrasolar planets, by classifying images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope and other observatories. In this citizen science project, you'll view animated images of disk candidates and classify them, distinguishing good candidates from galaxies, asteroids and image artifacts. 
Quest Aerospace   
Paying Forward is a large part of model rocketry...Ever wonder where the concept originated?  Take a look at the records for the birth of model rocketry, the formation of the first model rocket company Model Missiles, Inc. and the formation of the Model Missile Association (later to become the National Association of Rocketry). These artifacts will engage and inspire you, just as they did for so many others!

 Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers and Students (WRATS)


The Sounding Rockets Program Office (SRPO) and the Wallops Education Office host an annual workshop for approximately 20 educators. Three workshops have been held, starting in 2011. The workshop offers a week of hands-on rocketry activities for High School educators and includes an opportunity to see a sounding rocket launch from Wallops Island.


The first day of the workshop starts with introductions and an overview of NASA's Sounding Rockets Program. Participants also complete construction of an E powered model rocket on Monday. The second day is focused on the assembly of a payload for the model rockets. The past two years the payload has been Arduino Uno based with three sensors; pressure transducer, accelerometer and a thermistor. Wednesday is focused on interactive lectures on rocket physics conducted by Phil Eberspeaker, Chief Sounding Rockets Program Office.


The lectures include demonstrations using a CO2 powered Rocket Cars, moment of inertia bars, and other easily obtainable materials. The center of gravity of the model rocket is measured and a stability swing tests are performed. Additionally participants measure the pitch moment of inertia on their models using a bifilar pendulum setup. OpenRocket, a rocket flight simulation software is used to predict flight performance.


On Thursday, day four of the workshop, participants attend a sounding rocket launch on Wallops Island. The payload on the sounding rocket includes student experiments from Universities and Colleges. The model rocket launches are conducted on Thursday afternoon on the Wallops airfield.


The last day of the workshop includes various presentations about NASA resources for educators and tours of Wallops Flight Facility.


Contact Julie Bloxon by email to get information on the application process

Rocketry in South Africa

South Africa National Space Agency (SANSA)
Ever wonder what the space programs are like in other countries?  Take a look at the South Africa National Space Agency.  E stablished in 2010, following a period of rapid growth and transition, the agency has made significant advancements towards addressing its mandate of deriving greater value from space science and technology for the benefit of South African society.
National Youth Development Trust
Similarly, how do teachers in other countries integrate rocketry into their programs?  Check out what Mr. Adrian Meyer, the Chief Executive Officer for the National Youth Development Trust, is accomplishing in South Africa. Adrian writes, " Our Engineering Science program has become popular .... rocketry and robotics are two of the very popular hobbies and favorite pastimes.  Our Rockets and Robots Program has been designed to create and nurture interest in engineering science at school, from grade 1 to grade 13 level.  Rocketry and robotics are two different disciplines, and each has an independent program. " 
There are, however, many young scientists who would like to follow a career in engineering; consequently, they are  working closely with international role-players and stakeholders to establish formal rocketry and robotics programs for  South Africa. They have also been working in countries such as Ethiopia, Cameroon, Botswana and Kenya to establish similar model rocketry programs.
South Africa Amateur Rocketry Administration (SAASA)
What about model rocketry?  Established in 2003, South Africa Amateur Rocketry Association became the first rocketry association/organization to offer certification levels in South Africa.   SAASA  promotes model rocketry as being safe, reliable, accountable & fun, while also having elements that can be challenging, educational and competitive! 


SAASA represents Hobby Rocketry, Model Rocketry, Sport Rocketry, Experimental/Amateur Rocketry as well as Applied Rocketry in South Africa. With a track record spanning more than 10 years, SAASA has the largest and best-established membership component and support infrastructure in South Africa.  SAASA provides guidance, procedures and administration for the legal & safe participation in rocketry activities within South Africa.


Rocketry School Supplies Provided by Donors 


As teachers, you know your students' needs best. is available to provide an avenue for public school teachers to submit project requests for the specific materials their students need to learn.  As their name implies, donors choose which projects to support. Once a project is funded, they deliver the materials directly to the school.  


In return, teachers submit photos of the project in use and thank-you notes from students, which are then sent to the project's donors. 
NASA NASA Makes Finding Teaching Materials Easy

NASA's Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources. (
NASA's Adventures in Rocket Science Educator's Guide
This guide contains 25 activities designed for 4-H Clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, after-school programs, and other informal education venues. Participants learn about the history and principles of rocketry and NASA's newest rockets -- Ares I and Ares V. While doing these hands-on activities, participants also learn about Hero Engines, parachutes and surface area, altitude tracking, and Newton's Laws Of Motion. Learners can also build four types of rockets and two types of egg drops. Take a look at the Adventures in Rocket Science Guide!
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Education Page
NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center strive to help maintain a strong American education system. They pursue this goal by nurturing students' interest in mathematics and science from elementary school through their college years, and by encouraging young people to consider careers in engineering and the aerospace industry. Browse the Marshall Space Flight Center Education Page!
Small NAR Logo National Association of Rocketry (NAR) offers Teachers and Youth Group Leaders Resources

 The NAR offers Free Resource downloads produced by members who have helped teachers and youth group leaders like yourself all over the United

States.  Check these out and see if any match what you had in mind for your course! 

Civil Air Patrol

Aerospace Library   
Dedicated to promoting and sharing Aviation, Air Force, CAP & NASA History, the folks at the Civil Air Patrol have put together a fantastic library of rocketry resources! Check it out...(!

Aerospace/STEM Education Products
CAP's Aerospace/STEM Curriculum Products site contains, by grade level,  downloadable pages in PDF. Additionally, take a look at their  Model Rocketry Guidebook!
This Month in History  


101 Years Ago
April 2, 1915: President Woodrow Wilson appointed the first 12 members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Twenty one days later, on April 23, the Secretary of War called the first meeting in his office. Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven, Chief Signal Officer, was elected temporary chairman, and Dr. Charles D. Walcott, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, was elected first chairman of the NACA Executive Committee.

86 Years Ago
April 4, 1930: David Lasser, G. Edward Pendray, Fletcher Pratt and nine others founded The American Interplanetary Society, later the American Rocket Society (ARS), in New York City to promote interest in and work toward interplanetary expeditions and travel. 


71 Years Ago
April 1, 1945: The U.S. Army fired the first of 17 Jet Propulsion Laboratory Private F rockets at Hueco Range at Fort Bliss, Texas as part of its historic Ordnance/CIT ballistic rocket program.

56  Years Ago
April 4, 1960: Frank D. Drake initiated Project Ozma using the 85-foot Howard E. Tatel Radio Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, W. Va. It was the first systematic attempt to detect artificial radio signal patterns from nearby stars. After 150 hours of listening, the project returned no evidence. However, Project Ozma was the precursor for many more, increasingly sophisticated searches which continue today.  


51 Years Ago  April 6, 1965: The United States launched Intelsat I, the first commercial communications satellite, into geostationary orbit. Also called "Early Bird," the satellite provided the first scheduled transoceanic television service and was operational for 3.5 years.  


46 Years Ago
April 11-17, 1970: NASA launched Apollo 13 via a Saturn-V rocket. About 56 hours into the flight, an oxygen tank in the Apollo service module exploded and damaged several of the systems, including life support. People throughout the world watched, waited and hoped as NASA personnel on the ground and the Apollo crew worked together to find a way safely home. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert used the lunar module as a lifeboat before returning to the control module for reentry. After a dramatic period of innovative recalculation at Mission Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Houston, Texas, the crew returned safely six days later.

36 Years Ago
April 26, 1980: The U.S. Department of Defense launched the NavStar 6 navigation satellite via Atlas F rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The NavStar Global Positioning System (GPS) is a radio-positioning system of satellites that provides navigation and timing information to military and civilian users across the globe.

31 Years Ago 
April 29, 1985: NASA launched the space shuttle Challenger (STS-51B) from Kennedy Space Center, Fla. It was the first operational flight for the Spacelab orbital laboratory series developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). The orbiter made its first crosswind landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California at the end of this mission.

26 Years Ago
April 24, 1990: NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope on space shuttle Discovery (STS-31). Soon after launch, controllers found that the telescope was flawed by a mirror defect only 1/25th the width of a strand of human hair. Scientists found a way to work around it using computer enhancement, and engineers planned a shuttle repair mission to fully correct it. Hubble has made many important astronomical discoveries, including generating images of galaxy M87 and providing evidence of a potentially massive black hole.

21 Years Ago
April 3, 1995: NASA launched the MicroLab 1 mini-satellite on a Pegasus rocket carried aloft by an L-1011 aircraft flying out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mini-satellite carried meteorological experiments designed to track lightning and to provide detailed temperature and moisture profiles across the globe. Data from this mini-satellite has shown that more than 1.2 billion lightning flashes occur around the world every year, with more lightning strikes occurring over land masses than over the oceans.

16 Years Ago
April 4, 2000: Russia launched Soyuz TM-30 from The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the last Soyuz mission to the 14 year-old Mir space station. Cosmonauts Zalyotin and Kaleri reactivated the uninhabited station and used two Progress spacecraft to raise the station's orbit. Prior to this mission, Mir's orbital plane was only around 120 degrees away from the International Space Station, making transport between the two stations impossible. 

11 Years Ago
April 15, 2005: Russia launched Soyuz-TMA 6 from The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying the Expedition 10 crew to the International Space Station. The crew included three astronauts; Sergei Krikalev (Russian), John Phillips (American) and Robert Vittori (Italian.) During the mission, Krikalev broke the record for total time in space. Fifty-four years in March, NASA's Pioneer 4 probe flew within 37,000 miles of the lunar surface. In doing so, the tiny spacecraft flew the first successful American lunar flyby mission.

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