Middle school students launch rockets

Posted at: 10/22/2013 6:35 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The October sky above Rio Rancho lit up today with aspirations to reach the outer limits of our atmosphere.

It's all part of a program to get students interested in science.

"I don't think a lot of students really understand what scientists and engineers do. This is their opportunity to get to try on that hat and see what it feels like," said Rhonda Cole of the Air Force Research Laboratory's La Luz Academy.

22 different teams from 10 different area schools put on that hat for today's launch.

Students, like Kitra Noce from Cleveland Middle School, are learning to take command of the launch team by assembling and weighing rockets along with getting them ready and launching them. Her group's rocket is called the "Saturn-Apollo".

After all that work, there's liftoff.

Once it launches and the parachute deploys, the kid's run out into the desert to retrieve their rocket.

The rockets aren't just cool to look at;  it's a learning experience.

"No matter what, you have to work with a team," says Kitra.

Teamwork is a lesson that she and all the students will take with them to school, to work, or to space.