National Association of Rocketry
National Association of Rocketry
Educator's Newsletter
August 2020
In This Issue
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Finding Hope In the Stars

As we celebrated the anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon (50th last year, 51st last month) we may have forgotten the context of the event. This fantastic achievement occurred during a great civil unrest in our country. The late sixties had its share of protests and riots in major cities. Now as we watch similar bad news in the current day we've also seen American astronauts launched on an American rocket from an American site to Earth orbit. The successful flight of SpaceX's Dragon with  Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley put us back in the crew launch business. The irony is that there is a parallel emerging of the first moon launch happening amid social struggle and our next moon launch in the tensions of today. Will looking to the stars help us get past these troubled times? The inspiration of Apollo did then. Students really need to build a model rocket to help them believe in a better future and that we -they- are going to Mars. Whether this upcoming school year is in a classroom or online or both, NAR has the resources to support STEM, and we can all get through this together.

Aim high! 

Vince Huegele
NAR Education Chairman
The American Rocketry Challenge 2020 and 2021

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.

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has made a tremendous impact on the challenge.  As a reminder:
  • The 2021 season of the American Rocketry Challenge will use the same rules as the 2020 season.  All registered 2020 teams will be automatically registered for the 2021 season. No additional action or payment is required to enter the 2021 season. Your current registration will remain active. Those teams wishing to withdraw and no longer compete next year may receive a refund of their registration fee.
  • Flying and submitting qualification flights will remain suspended until September 1, 2020, or such time as AIA and the NAR determine it is safe for launches to resume in all 50 states.
  • Teams may freely add or drop students regardless of 2020 qualification flight status.
  • Teams who have already submitted qualification flights may either keep all their current scores or withdraw all their flights. Teams who have submitted only one or two qualification flights may keep those and still fly their remaining flights when flying resumes.
Stay safe!
Trip Barber (
NAR TARC Manager 
Small NAR LogoNAR Scholarship Program, Robert L. Cannon Award, and Extracurricular Activity Grant Awards

Did you know that if you are a 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.   Three NAR members received scholarships and two educators received Cannon awards.  Over the years the number of award winners have grown.  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.  This year we awarded ten $2000 scholarships, six $1000 scholarships, six Cannon $500 grants, and one Extracurricular Activity Grant (EAG). 

Congratulations to our 2020 winners!

Gleda M. Estes Scholarship for the Advancement of Young Women in STEM 2020   ($3,000)
Candace Do, Princeton University, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Fehskens Memorial Scholarship Recipient 2020  ($2,000)
Charis Houston, Capitol Technology University, Astronautical Engineering

NAR Scholarship Recipients 2020 ($2,000)
Sarah Alexander, Penn State Erie - The Behrend College
Jenna Butler, Aurora University
Isabella DeLorenzo, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Elizabeth Fineberg, University of Illinois
Mikaela Ikeda, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Gabriel Mills, Virginia Tech
Collin Ruprecht, University of Colorado
Teresa Tomasino, Oakland University
Jonathan Tran, Cornell University
Andrew Yerkey, Cedarville University

NAR Scholarship Recipients 2020 ($1,000)
Bryce  Kampert, U.S. Air Force Academy
Jacob Rains, Denison University
Owen Read, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Allison Van Milligan, Liberty University
Robert Cannon Educator Grants 2020 ($500)
Allen Cox, Abraham Lincoln High School, Los Angeles, CA
Ginger DeVillers, Plainwell Aviation and STEM Academy, Plainwell, MI
Rick Heggan, Medford Lakes Neeta School, Medford, NJ
Robyn Jackson, Challenger Learning Center, Columbia, SC
Wyantt May, Brandon High School, Brandon, FL

Robert Cannon Educator Grants 2020 ($500)
Allen Cox, Abraham Lincoln High School, Los Angeles, CA
Ginger DeVillers, Plainwell Aviation and STEM Academy, Plainwell, MI
Rick Heggan, Medford Lakes Neeta School, Medford, NJ
Robyn Jackson, Challenger Learning Center, Columbia, SC
Wyantt May, Brandon High School, Brandon, FL

NAR Extracurricular Activity Grants 2020 ($500)
Ann Bizzano, Foothills Cadet Squadron, Broomfield, CO
Jeffrey Coggin, Heritage High School, Maryville, TN
Andrea Earl, Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana, CA
Henry LaFever, Big Sky Science Education Enhancement, Billings, MT
Shem Thompson, Interlake Rocketry Club, Bellevue, WA

Remember...T hese programs are ongoing.  The deadline is June 1st of each year.   See  for details on how to apply.  If you have questions concerning either program, please contact Claude Maina via for the Cannon/EAG Awards or Mark Wise via  for the Scholarship program .
Air Force JROTC
As of May 2017, NAR signed a MOU with the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) to foster greater cooperation among NAR Sections and AFJROTC Squadrons to encourage joint rocketry activities.

The Air Force JROTC provides leadership training and an aerospace science program for high school students. Secondary school students who enroll in the AFJROTC program are offered a wide variety of curricular and extra-curricular activities. The program explores the historic and scientific aspects of aerospace technology and teaches high school students self-reliance, self-discipline and other characteristics found in good leaders. The AFJROTC program is open to 9th-12th grade students who are citizens of the United States. There are more than 121,000 high school cadets in the program and over 1,950 retired USAF instructors who lead, mentor, guide, and teach the cadets in high schools. AFJROTC enjoys overwhelming school administration and community support because of the huge positive impact on cadets, schools, communities, and our nation. The program is not a recruiting tool for the military services and those students who participate in AFJROTC do not incur any obligation to the Air Force, but the students do wear uniforms and follow military type protocol in their classes and activities. Get to know your AFJROTC Unit Commander or their education officer and see how you might work together to promote model rocketry.  

To find your local unit, look here  and the search engine will generate a map with unit locations and contact information.  You can also do a simple web search to find the many AFJROTC rocket activities. Alternately, f or more information on AFJROTC, contact AFJROTC Headquarters, 60 West Maxwell Blvd., Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6501; phone 1-334-953-7513,  online.

   Civil Air Patrol  
Collectively, we can have a remarkable impact on a partnering national organization.  Take the time to contact a local Civil Air Patrol squadron  near you and Pay Forward!  Each of these squadrons would welcome your insights and camaraderie!  Additionally, the Civil Air Patrol has an Advanced Rocketry Program (and Guide) for those folks who enjoy High Power Rocketry as well as Mid and Low Power...It's a great opportunity to share experiences and Pay Forward!

4-H Uses Model Rocketry for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math  
Rocketry School Enrichment and After School Enrichment Programs  help students meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards in science. Take a look at the 4-H projects in Alabama and California!

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring 
Established by the White House in 1995, this Presidential award recognizes U.S. citizens, permanent residents and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in mentoring individuals from groups that are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce. These STEM groups include women, people with disabilities, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds and geographic regions like urban and rural areas. The PAESMEM program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
LOC Precision
Rockets for Schools
On May 3 & 4, 1996, 240 students participated in the first state-based Rockets For Schools program. NASA Administrator Dan Goldin addressed the students along with Astronaut Col. Mark Lee. Students were briefed on the different aspects of the launch and were given a tour of the different launch stations. 12,000 people were in attendance, as Sheboygan, Wisconsin became the first inland sub-orbital launch site. 

Since 1996, we have had over 20 successful secondary school launches involving students from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa but participation is open to all U.S. students in grades from 6 through 12. This event provides an opportunity for students to participate in aerospace technology and rocket launches: to learn about rocket construction and to perform as part of a team.

  Rockets For Schools is a fun and exciting way for kids to learn about space technologies while providing them with an opportunity to be part of an extraordinary team-building event. Additionally, Rockets for Schools is the only other NASA Student Launch Initiative qualifier outside of TARC. For more information write to Rockets For Schools, P. O. Box 684 Sheboygan, WI 53082-0684, call (920) 458-6299, or email  Carol Lutz and  Kenny Bergschultz.

Fun 2 Discover
Fun 2 Discover provides interactive STEAM based learning tools and resources. 
Fun 2 Discover encourages students to learn Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) through a unique, incentive-based points system. 
The more STEAM you learn, the more POINTS you earn! 

Fun2Discover encourages our users to get involved with Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics through a unique, incentive-based points system and contests.

Every STEAM-based activity on Fun2Discover can earn our members points, earn enough points and you could win great STEAM prizes. For more information contact  STEAM Club Strategies, Inc.,    Fun2Discover   Harbourside Center 
110 Front Street, Suite 343, Jupiter, Florida, 33477 or call  800-896-8716.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
Check out the AIAA Educator pages on the AIAA website to learn more about the curriculum and the instructors. Workshops are being set up around the country in local AIAA sections, so check the website to see where the next one will be located. Interested now? Why wait! We have webinars scheduled for educators to learn more about each program.  



NASA Adventures in Rocket Science Educator Guide

The "Adventures in Rocket Science Educator Guide" is available for download from the NASA website.


Education specialists from the Marshall Space Flight Center created this curriculum with members of the NAR. The material was tested in a workshop pairing NAR members in the MSFC area with informal educators from science centers, 4-H clubs, Girl Scout troops and after-school programs to introduce the groups to how to use the guidebook with students in informal settings. The Guide has activities for grades K-12 and serves as a program to progressively prepare students for participating in TARC.

Estes has an internationally recognized  curriculum for educators at  Additionally, they offer a student-focused activity site 

Apogee Components has an extensive educator's page and a remarkable newsletter archive  If you want to subscribe to their newsletter just look at the right hand column of the Educator's page and you will see the sign-up section.

eRockets has a dedicated web site full of tips for educators!  D esigned for educators wanting to introduce this safe, educational, and fun hobby to their students, it's especially focused on the classroom educator, scout leader, church leader, 4-H Leader, or space enthusiast who wants to incorporate model rocketry into a group activity.

Small NAR LogoNAR Offers Teachers and Youth Group Leaders Resources

Are you starting your rocketry program and aren't sure what rockets are right for your kids?  Contact your local NAR Section to help with your program.  Having worked with teachers, Section members can provide valuable advice about planning the time you have scheduled and purchasing rocket products tailored to your needs and launch site.  For instance, did you know it takes a typical 8th grade class about two days to build a rocket with balsa fins?  As you might expect, the age of your students and the size of your class are also factors in determining the right type of kit and the amount of time to complete it.  Indeed, based on the size of your launch site, a streamer recovery rocket (as opposed to a parachute recovery) might be a better option for your students as the chances for a successful return (and a chance for additional flights) would be greater.


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


Would you like to have a rocketry program at your school or know more about how to use rockets to teach math and science? Please take advantage of our field experience in educational rocketry by completing our survey. That signs you up for both our Email Educator Newsletter, and our free Rocketry Resource Portal You and your students will be "go for launch." 

Space History
August 12, 1960:  NASA launched its first communications satellite, Echo 1.  Echo 1 rode to space on a Thor-Delta rocket from Vandenberg Air Force base, California.  The satellite transmitted a signal from President Dwight D. Eisenhower across the nation, demonstrating the feasibility of global communications via satellites.  Echo 1 was the largest and most visible satellite for its time; however, it was quickly superseded by active-repeater communication satellites such as Telstar.
August 21-29, 1965:  NASA launched Gemini V on a Titan II rocket. Several records were set during this eight day orbital flight: the longest manned flight; largest amount of time in space; and a new altitude record for an American spacecraft.  Astronaut Gordon Cooper was the first man to make a second orbital flight and, consequently, accumulated a record amount of spaceflight for one individual.

August 27, 1985: NASA launched space shuttle Discovery (STS-51I) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The shuttle deployed three communications satellites and retrieved, repaired and re-launched the TELSAT-1 Communications Satellite, Syncom IV-3. 

August 9, 2000: The European Space Agency launched the second pair of Cluster II mission satellites, named Rumba and Tango, aboard a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Cluster mission used simultaneous measurements from four satellites to provide detailed analysis of the effects of solar wind on Earth's magnetic field. The mission is still in effect today and has resulted in around 1000 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. 

August 12, 2005: NASA launched the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. aboard the first Atlas V rocket used for an interplanetary mission. The ongoing mission was to map the physical features of Mars, including its atmosphere and its subterranean layering.

August 22, 2010: Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born 100 years ago on this day in Waukegan, Ill. He wrote "The Martian Chronicles" published in 1949. Among his poems is one inspired by a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. where he compared his tour of the Saturn hanger to "walking around inside Shakespeare's head."

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