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jflis

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I had the privilege of participating in the Fitchburg State College STEM career day (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for middle schoolers in the area.

It was incredible! I had 4 sessions of 10-15 students each building a Whatchamacallit kit in 35 minutes with 5 minutes between sessions. Man, what a schedule! Whew!

During the build I was able to discuss (briefly) some of the engineering that goes into rocketry and where the attraction is with regard to the aerospace industry.

I was also selected to participate on a Q/A panel at the end of the day with 7 other industry leaders to field questions from the kids who attended.

It was an incredible day of discovery for me as well as the kids :)

Everyone had a great time and I am already looking forward to next year!
 

n5wd

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...Man, what a schedule! Whew!... Everyone had a great time and I am already looking forward to next year!
Doing these jam-packed outreach sessions can be exhausting, but ya can't help but wonder, as you look into the faces of these younger kids who are doing something like this for the first time, just which one of these will be on the first crew to Mars, or wind up developing a solution to the pollution problems, or invent the cold fusion machine.
 

jflis

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Doing these jam-packed outreach sessions can be exhausting, but ya can't help but wonder, as you look into the faces of these younger kids who are doing something like this for the first time, just which one of these will be on the first crew to Mars, or wind up developing a solution to the pollution problems, or invent the cold fusion machine.
My thoughts exactly. :)

I was frustrated that they designed such short sessions and will be making recommendations for next years event. Fortunately I was selected to be on the panel discussion and was able to remind the kids that they are encouraged to contact me if they have any questions about rocketry or this particular build/kit to help them get them into the air and have fun.

Every kid loved the build session and the parents who attended/participated gave me very positive feedback all around, so it was good.

Next year I want 50-55 min sessions so that we can actually discuss more about the hobby and such...
 

n5wd

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I was frustrated that they designed such short sessions...
Next year I want 50-55 min sessions so that we can actually discuss more about the hobby and such...
Since you're going to have some input on the scheduling, push for a flexible scheduling deal where some of the sessions are of the 20-25 minute variety, then one or two of the big 'uns are the hour long. It looks like a nightmare at first, but just halving the long blocks and putting in two short sessions works well for those that aren't quite as captivating, while the longer sessions are there when you need them.

That actually works out better, sometimes, because you can get some sessions where the presenters wouldn't feel like they could fill up an hour.
 

jflis

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Interesting idea however every presenter was concerned about the short sessions and feeling rushed. Talking to the director afterwards he is looking at doing either three 50 min sessions (instead of four 35 min sessions) or keep it at 4 sessions, just have 3 before lunch and 1 after.

He was very agreeable. This was their first such event and they patterned it after a similar event and is working to collect feedback from everyone.

It will be interesting to see what it looks like next year.

jim
 

Peartree

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And I had a hard time getting our scouts to build a Whachamacallit in an hour and a half to two hours... Yikes!
 

jflis

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And I had a hard time getting our scouts to build a Whachamacallit in an hour and a half to two hours... Yikes!
Yea, tell me 'bout it... LOL

It was a stress filled 35 minutes... The one big advantage we had was the program let us keep the kids rockets in the rooms to dry and be picked up at the end of the day.
 

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