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Tech Prep Camp: Introducing High School Students To Engineering Technology Through Model Rocketry

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.602.1 - 5.602.11



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Paper Authors

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Kevin M Torres

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David Johnson

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David Forsman

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David Baird

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3253

Tech Prep Camp: Introducing High School Students to Engineering Technology through Model Rocketry

Kevin Torres, Kathy Holliday-Darr, David Forsman, Dave Baird, David Johnson

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College


Penn State Erie, The Behrend College participates in Pennsylvania’s Tech Prep Program. Articulation agreements between Penn State Erie and participating local high schools are designed to recruit students into two year programs. Students meeting the specified requirements upon graduation from high school are automatically granted admission to Penn State Erie.

Penn State Erie hosted a week long residence camp exposing high school Tech Prep students to hands on experiences. Activities for the camp focused on manufacturing in the Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology and Plastics Engineering Technology programs, through the study of model rocketry.

The first day of camp, the students were exposed to the assembly line process by building an electronic ignition system for model rockets. They also assembled the Alpha rockets that would be launched in the afternoon.

The second and third day, students rotated through lectures and laboratories on the following topics - basic DC circuit fundamentals, assembly drawings of the Alpha rocket and a rocket holder with Computer-Aided-Drafting (CAD) and using a solid modeling program called SolidWorks. Demonstrations included cutting the rocket holder on a CNC Router to be used as a vacuum forming mold in the plastics lab.

The fourth morning, the students chose between a laboratory in which they would construct and test a digital voltmeter, or a laboratory to learn about operations and experimentation in a wind tunnel. Calculations of drag forces were discussed and tests of the student's competition rocket were performed to determine the actual drag coefficients. To keep students interested, a rocket competition was held which allowed them to apply the principles they had learned during the week. During each lunch period, speakers discussed career opportunities, high school class requirements, financial aid and college success tips. The last day, students visited local industry and were given the opportunity to job shadow.

Torres, K. M., & Johnson, D., & Forsman, D., & Baird, D. (2000, June), Tech Prep Camp: Introducing High School Students To Engineering Technology Through Model Rocketry Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8763

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