|Whitney M. Young Scholars launch rockets
RELEASED: June 16, 2005
DANVILLE, KY—On Thursday evening, the Centre College campus can expect to see a rain of rockets. The countdown to liftoff, which started with the arrival of the Whitney M. Young Summer Institute on Centre’s campus nearly two weeks ago, is nearing its completion, as scholars wrap up their rocketry studies under the guidance of Danville physics teacher Mark Mojesky.
Powered by small engines, the rockets are expected to achieve altitudes upwards of 200 feet. At the apex of the launch, a small parachute at the nose cone of the rocket will open and allow the capsule to gently drift back down to the ground.
The rocketry class has been a unique learning opportunity for the Louisville- area high school students, leaving many of them starry-eyed.
“I love it,” says Emily Grey, 16, of Pleasure Ridge Park High School, “It’s really fun. I’ve never done this before. It’s not like any of the classes you can take at my school.”
During their two-week stay on campus, the students have traced the development of rocketry and propulsion theory from its earliest expressions in ancient Greece up to the present day.
The students have expanded their horizons in other fields as well. Recently, they had the opportunity to observe Centre artists at work during a glass-blowing demonstration.
“They have to keep it hot—really hot,” says Devon Cowherd, 16, of Eastern High School, “and they have to keep adding more glass to it.”
In their social studies classes, the scholars have studied the history of African Americans in the 19th century. As a class, the scholars are reading Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman by Patricia C. McKissack. A recent trip to the National Underground Railroad Museum in Maysville, Ky., allowed scholars to examine first hand the conditions experienced by runaway slaves such as Truth.
“I learned more about what slavery was; I learned more about what happened,” says Cowherd. “I learned the truth about history.”
With the completion of the summer institute later this week, the scholars hope to carry their relationships off campus and back to their hometown.
Grey says that while this is her first year with the program, “it’s been really nice getting to know the other kids.”
With a forecast of clear skies for the launch, student excitement remains fixed on the rockets. The scholars will gather on the practice football field to send their rockets skyward. The launched rockets will signal the formal end of classes for the scholars, as they will be headed home on Friday.
Story by Centre senior Nathan French.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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