DMS rockets into engineering

Savannah Vasquez
Seventeen students from Dawn Pack's first semester engineering class will join 31 students from her cur-rent classes Thursday for a model rocket launch at DMS.

Students in Dawn Pack’s Introduction to Engineering class at Destin Middle School were excited Monday as the day marked the start of their week-long aeronautics study.

This week, about 46 students from both the first semester and second semester engineering classes will participate in building and launching model rockets to learn how engineering is involved in space travel.

“A lot of space engineers started out with model rockets,” Pack said. “The purpose of this class is to get kids interested in the engineering fields, and this is a good way to do it.”

Earlier this year, DMS secured a grant from AT&T STEM Solutions for close to $2,000 dollars. This money was used to purchase Estes Alpha model rockets for the class.

Last week, students heard from Dr. Anton Vanderwyst, an aerospace engineer, and this week they are putting their knowledge into practice.

“The day of the launch they will use an “Altitrak” to measure their rocket’s apogee (maximum altitude),” said Pack. “Students will note wind direction and wind speed. We will analyze this information to determine if there is any connection between the rocket’s apogee and these variables. Having a discussion about data, both quantitative and qualitative, will benefit students by allowing them to do what real engineers do after they test their prototypes.”

Thursday, all 46 students will launch their rockets.