AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rocketry Lesson Plan Competition to Generate Educational Best Practices

College Park, Maryland, United States, March 5, 2007

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in cooperation with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Team America Rocketry Challenge

AAPT is inviting the teachers and/or coaches of teams participating in the 2007 TARC to submit lesson plans or similar documents describing their team’s activities, planning, and experiments undertaken while preparing for TARC.

The top entries will clearly explain how the activities described in the lesson plans and other documents 1) address the local, state, and national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) standards; 2) foster a cooperative working atmosphere among the team members; 3) and encourage participation by females and minorities who are underrepresented in STEM disciplines at the professional level.

There will be two divisions for the competition:
(TARC) today announced a new competition that will identify best practices for implementing model rocketry into both formal instructional classrooms and the informal activities of clubs such as the 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other after school programs.
  • Division I for the formal instructional classroom teams.
  • Division II for the informal instruction teams.
The first place winner for Division I will receive an all expenses paid trip to the 2007 AAPT/PTRA Summer Institute and the AAPT Summer Meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, July 21-August 1, and a one-year membership in AAPT.

The first place winner for Division II will receive an all expenses paid trip to the 2007 TARC finals in The Plains, Virginia, May 18-20.

In addition, first place winners in both divisions will receive $200 gift certificates to purchase supplies from ESTES Rockets. Second and third place winners will receive $100 and $50 gift certificates respectively to purchase supplies from ESTES Rockets. Certificates will be issued to the schools/organizations that win and they will be featured on AAPT’s Website and appropriate publications.

The deadline for entries is April 25, 2007.

“We are very pleased to be the exclusive educational partner for the Team America Rocketry Challenge and to be participating in such an exciting contest with so many physics teachers and students participating” said Toufic Hakim, AAPT Executive Officer. “We believe that this outreach effort is of great significance, especially when our nation is aiming to strengthen science education across the board. The contest is consistent with AAPT’s goals and we are ready to support and drive any effort that leads to the increased interest in and effectiveness of physics education.”

“We hope that the AAPT Rocketry Lesson Plan Competition will bring even more energy and excitement to the contest and propel teachers and students further in their physics learning adventures” added Dr. Warren Hein, AAPT Associate Executive Officer.

TARC is the world’s largest rocketry contest and qualification for the contest is under way. Middle and high school students around the country are making a push to qualify for TARC and earn an invitation to the final round of competition in May. Teams must make the successful launch by April 8 and turn in their paperwork by April 9. Finalists will be notified by April 13.

A total of 690 teams from 48 states and the District of Columbia have signed up for the fifth annual TARC. The teams must successfully launch their handmade model rockets and earn a qualifying score to make it to the finals, scheduled for May 19 at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. This year students are shooting for an altitude of 850 feet and a flight duration of 45 seconds that includes returning a raw-egg payload safely to the ground. For more information visit AIA’s website: www.rocketcontest.org.

About AAPT
AAPT is the leading organization for physics educators—with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics teaching. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.

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