As part of the 2018 NASA USLI competition, the Bison Ballistics team completed hands-on aerospace educational activities with over 200 students in the local community.

During the course of the project, our team was able to reach out and engage with a total of 275 students. The students that we worked with were from many different backgrounds and cultures. For example, one of the elementary schools that we worked with served students from 23 different language backgrounds. All of the kids that we engaged were energetic and excited to learn about science and rocketry.

Throughout the process, our team visited multiple schools and afterschool programs such as Lipscomb Academy, Cane Ridge Elementary School, and the Youth Life Learning Center of Nashville. Across these locations there were students ranging in age from kindergarten to high school. With the high school students, we showed them a presentation on rocketry, let them compete to design a rocket that would reach a mile in OpenRocket, and launched water rockets with them. With the younger students, we had already built our full-scale rocket and had the opportunity to show it to them and answer any questions that they had about it. In addition, we gave them a kid-friendly presentation explaining the history and physics behind rocketry and then we helped them create their own rockets using simple materials such as colored paper, triangular erasers, tape, and straws.

During each of the experiences working with the kids, our team received similar responses from the students and teachers. The students smiled and had fun doing the activities, but they also had intelligent questions about rocketry and how they could be engineers or astronauts someday. The teachers were happy to have our help and enjoyed the lessons almost as much as the students, many of the teachers asked that we come back after the project to continue engaging with the students with regards to engineering and rocketry. At this point, the team is making plans to revisit the Youth Life Center of Nashville in the near future, and our team plans to continue and build upon our relationships with Lipscomb Academy, Cane Ridge Elementary School, and more schools in the future as well.