Independent Projects

Rocketry Team Succeeds at NASA Launch

The Upper School team spent the entire year working on this college-level national challenge.

Congratulations to the Rocketry Team who successfully launched their solid high-powered rocket to 5100 feet (almost a mile!) at the NASA Student Launch in Huntsville, Alabama. The team spent the year designing the rocket and its scientific payload and experiment, and building and readying it for launch. In this college-level competition guided and assessed by NASA engineers along the way, only half of the teams in their division were cleared for launch.

The NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI) is a college-level engineering challenge open to colleges and select high schools. The team earned an invitation from their American Rocketry Challenge (ARC) performance last year by placing 15th in the nation out of 850 participating teams.

The challenge began in September of 2023. The team had to produce and present to a team of NASA engineers a proposal for their rocket and a scientific payload to be carried by the rocket to an altitude between 4000 and 5000 feet. Their proposal was accepted by NASA, and the team began the process of creating and testing their project, starting with a sub-scale rocket and moving up to a full-size rocket test with payload. Each step of the way, the boys had to produce a report and meet virtually with NASA engineers to advance to the next stage.
The team flew in the second of three volleys of 20 rockets each, each one flying individually. Rocket Turbo-Encabulator lifted off racing into the sky with a perfect boost and a top speed of 454 MPH. The rocket landed several minutes later after hitting an apogee of about 5100 feet, before returning to the landing field next to the launchpad under full chute. The team recovered the rocket, considered the launch a success, and recorded copious notes. They will do it all again next year! Teams get two years of NASA SLI eligibility at a time. Congratulations to the Rocketry Team and their coach, Mr. Seibyl '83. 
    • The US Rocketry Team's official NASA portrait.

    • The team at the staging area on launch day in Huntsville.

    • Mr. Seibyl '83 inspects the team's fine work.

    • NASA engineers review the rocket to clear it for launch.

    • NASA engineers are thorough.

    • Last-minute adjustments at the hotel.

Shaker Heights Campus JUNIOR K – GRADE 8

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Phone: (216) 321-8260

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