One of the most important missions undertaken by NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is STEM engagement—delivering programs and resources that support education in science, technology, engineering, and math. And key to that mission are the RockSat and RockOn programs. These programs draw higher ed students from around the country to Wallops every summer to fly experiments of their own design into space on NASA Wallops Flight Facility sounding rockets. This month on Assateague Voices we celebrate “NASA November” with episodes focused on RockOn and RockSat-C and -X. We’ll talk with an Idaho university senior whose team is conducting an amazing multi-year experiment aboard RockSat-X, and a Virginia-based collaborative partner whose program lets students nationwide design, research, and test experiments on RockSat-C.
We start right at Wallops, with Dr. Joyce Winterton, Sr. Advisor for Education and Leadership Development.
Dr. Winterton generously found time for me during a very hectic double RockOn and RockSat Launch Week in August. We talked about the critical importance of STEM education, the difficulties of rocket science, reaching out to minority-serving institutions, and launching the scientific leaders of tomorrow.
And of course, how cool rocket launches are.
Here’s our episode.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE:
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility: https://www.nasa.gov/wallops/
Wallops STEM Engagement: https://www.nasa.gov/wallops/stem/
RockSat and RockOn programs: https://www.nasa.gov/nasa-rocksat-program/
RockOn 2024 Application: https://www.nasa.gov/wallops/stem/rock-on/
RockOn MSI Faculty Workshop: https://www.nasa.gov/nasa-rocksat-program/
RockOn/RockSat-C launch video (courtesy NASA): https://www.youtube.com/live/f2kmaYtW_7s?si=f7E7Z_6WGOXWhxSN
RockSat-X launch video (courtesy NASA): https://www.youtube.com/live/VJGH7GrnEuk?si=C5gyJ0VllbKbPcAo