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AAPT Rocketry Lesson Plan Competition Winners Announced



Rocketry Lesson Plan Competition Winners Announced


College Park, Maryland, United States, May 15, 2007


The American Association of Physics Teachers in cooperation with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) today announced the winners of the Rocketry Lesson Plan Competition. The competition was open to teachers and/or coaches of teams participating in the 2007 TARC. Entrants submitted lesson plans describing their team’s activities, planning, and experiments undertaken while preparing for TARC.


Division I: Formal Instructional Classroom Teams


1st Place: James River High School, Midlothian, VA.
Physics teacher and head coach Timothy Couillard and his team will receive a $200 gift certificate from Estes Rockets and an all-expenses paid trip to attend the 2007 AAPT/PTRA National Leadership Institute and the AAPT Summer Meeting in Greensboro, NC, July 21-August 1, and a one-year membership in AAPT.


“The lesson plan we submitted was designed to simulate real-world problems in aerospace engineering. This lab activity encourages the students to use the engineering design process to find an optimal yet unique solution to the problems presented. We hope that students are intrigued by the challenges of aerospace and aviation,” stated Couillard.

View the Division I Winning Lesson Plan (PDF)


2nd Place: Whitefish Bay High School, Whitefish Bay, WI.

Guy A. Guglielmi and his team will receive a $100 gift certificate from Estes Rockets.


3rd Place: Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale, IL.

Jim Vetrone and his team will receive a $50 gift certificate from Estes Rockets.


Division II: Informal Instructional Classroom Teams


1st Place: Exploring Program Post 1010, Gaithersburg, MD.

Principle Advisor Robert Ekman and his team will receive a $200 gift certificate  from Estes Rockets and an all expenses paid trip to this week’s TARC finals.


“The essence of the plan is to use information collected from a flight in the iterative process of improving toward a goal. The teams reviewed the videos, pictures, and flight data after a launch to  help them make decisions about the next flight,” stated Ekman.


(Only 1st place was awarded in Division II.)

View the Division II Winning Lesson Plan (PDF)

The awards will be presented at the TARC pre-launch meeting on May 18, 2007.


Toufic Hakim, AAPT Executive Officer, said, “In addition to the challenging TARC activities, AAPT is extremely pleased with the level of participation in the Lesson Plan Competition by some of the brightest middle school and high school students across the country. We continue to sponsor such competitions to promote science and physics education among young people.”


Warren Hein, AAPTChief Academic Officer, added, “Activities like the Team America Rocket Challenge engage those students who will become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow and will be required to solve the energy and environmental challenges that will exist for decades to come. To fully leverage this competition requires thoughtful planning by those who serve as coaches and mentors for the teams. The lesson plans receiving these awards are examples of best practices that other coaches can adopt for their own teams.”


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 taking place this Saturday, May 19, at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. 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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