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How Model Rockets Can Boost Students’ Interest in STEM

  • 01 Aug 2022

The challenges that STEM learning faces are not a sign of insufficient teaching plans. According to Education Week, nearly 40 percent of children have an interest in STEM education, with 69 percent most interested in technology, while mathematics comes in at 14 percent. This lack of participation can make it difficult for educators to attract their students to these subjects

Making ideas fresh and intriguing for young children and adolescents can be difficult for instructors, particularly when those pupils are not inherently engaged in a certain topic. Hands-on learning helps instructors assist students in relating their teachings to their own life experiences, therefore increasing interest, involvement, and understanding.

Constructing model rockets is one method schools can use to steer towards a STEM curriculum. Understanding how model rockets can boost students’ interest in STEM will help you see that introducing students to something fun is a fantastic way to deepen their interest in one of the four areas of STEM studies. 

The Spirit of Competition

Promoting involvement in exciting scientific competitions and classroom activities is one effective approach to introducing otherwise uninterested students to STEM disciplines. No matter the age or activity, people tend to gravitate towards competition because the thrill of victory is rewarding. There are several STEM-related scientific projects and contests available on the internet that might serve to pique their enthusiasm, including multiple contests centered around model rocketry. 

“The American Rocketry Challenge” has nearly 5,000 students competing to become America’s most elite model rocket builder. This competition allows middle and high school students to plan, construct, and launch model rockets. Without the components of STEM education, these rockets would stay grounded. Twenty-seven states and 100 teams competed for the $100,000 in prizes.

By striking a chord early in their educational journey, many students may move on to compete in “The Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition,” where schools from all over the world, including Brazil and Canada, compete to see who is the world’s best model rocketeer.

Small Lessons Paint a Bigger Picture

Connecting with the younger generation has always been challenging. With Generation-Z heavily influenced by social media, it’s bold to assume that many enjoy comprehensive lesson plans and projects. STEM learning can educate students in small doses, rather than under a convoluted umbrella.

For example, there are many steps you or a team must take as you build a model rocket. Completing those small steps give students confidence, motivating them to continue building their innovative rocket ship. Students can organically absorb the knowledge in an approachable fashion without feeling overwhelmed.

Using Real-Life Examples

Instructors who make STEM more relevant to everyday life make a big impression on their students. Additionally, tailoring lessons toward a mutual interest is another fantastic way to create an atmosphere conducive to learning. 

Using classroom rocket kits to build a model rocket is relatable and appreciated by most youngsters. Space expeditions are genuinely interesting and relevant to what they may see on television or social media. Educators can further interest their students by taking them on field trips to explore the complexities of space and the rockets we use to operate outside Earth’s atmosphere. 

Learn To Work as a Team

Designing, constructing, and flying research rockets is an excellent approach to inspiring and encouraging kids to pursue professions in science, technology, engineering, and math. The simulated rocket engines, sounds, speeds, and sleek aerodynamics spark the curiosity of students in ways that few other subjects can.

Model rocketry is meant to encourage students to go outside the classroom and construct their high-flying vehicles. These students also learn to operate as a team, addressing real-world issues under the same financial, scheduling, and technical risks they would face in their future career opportunities.

Daring To Dream Big Because It’s Okay To Fail

The more fluid a student’s grasp of technology and associated concepts, the more qualified they are to handle our current society. With STEM becoming increasingly relevant, instructors can let their students pursue endless opportunities once they exit the classroom. Launching a rocket on a football field today could be the bridge needed for an interested student to explore their career as an engineer. 

Because materials on every topic and at any degree of difficulty are digitally accessible, educational leaders should concentrate on providing kids with tools and training for the real world. Fostering this curiosity and individuality in a secure setting might ultimately lead to them receiving recognition, a scholarship, or even an opportunity for their dream job.

STEM is undeniably one of the most challenging environments for educating students. However, failing is an integral part of the STEM process. Without trial and error, there would never be any improvements or discoveries in any STEM-related field.

Aside from creating a secure atmosphere where failure and more questions are just a method of growth, allowing each student to study at their speed is critical. 

Power of Positivity

Competition can help spur students to explore rocketry, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Prize money, certificates, and recognition are a plus to feeling a sense of accomplishment.

When you first get the materials and formulate a gameplan for constructing the rocket, it may seem like a far-fetched idea that it will soar through the sky. Therefore, seeing it take off, particularly if there was a challenge every step of the way, should give a student such pride that everything else is secondary.

A positive experience in the classroom is something to remember for a lifetime. It’s highly unlikely that a student will remember an essay exam about the empires of the world. In contrast, they will always remember the model rocket project and competition, even if they didn’t win anything of substance.

It’s evident how model rockets can boost students’ interest in STEM, and should continue to impact their academic journey positively. AC Supply has a range of Estes model rocket kits available depending on a student’s skill level. From beginner to expert, we have something anyone can enjoy, so don’t hesitate to add these valuable resources to your classroom today!