WATCH: Rocket launches continue STEM education for Butler County students

Credit: Journal News


Credit: Journal News

First-year program takes flight in West Chester Twp., teaching students variety of new skills.

A new group of teen rocketeers are launching their summer-time homework skyward at West Chester Twp.’s Boys & Girls Club.

The first-year program is designed to get more boys and girls involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and the more than half dozen participating teens recently gathered outside on the club’s grounds to fire off their hand-made rockets.

Locally another group of area teens recently made it to the finals of The American Rocketry Challenge regionals at Dayton’s National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The teens rose to the top 100 nationally with their rockets and were among more than 5,000 budding rocket scientists participating with only seven teams from Ohio making it to the finals.

Unfortunately, their rocket’s second launch during the finals was marred by a mishap and they did not make the top 25 of the competing teams.

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Earlier this week, the grassy field behind the youth club was turned into a temporary launching pad for some newly built and less powerful rockets, which were assembled from provided kits, as their creators squealed with delight watching them soar up to 100 feet high.

It’s not just entertainment, said Caleb Redslob, director of the Boys & Girls Club.

The new “Brain Blast” group and their rockets “are important because it combines fun with science and puts that together. We make things happen. We’re not watching them (rockets) on a screen or watching them on a video simulation. We are launching rockets.”

“It’s really important to teach these kids they can make things happen on their own if you give them the instructions and the tools … and that’s a great lesson for them to carry through out their lives,” said Redslob.

Nichols Bosse, youth professional development coordinator who works directly with the students, said the rocket assembly and launches are “very important.”

“Each member built their own rocket and then we launch each one,” said Bosse, who added “they are learning a lot of different skills.”