Intermediate Space Challenge, 10 years and counting
June 8, 2019
More than 700 Tehachapi fourth and fifth graders gathered at the Tehachapi Municipal Airport on May 29 for the 10th annual Intermediate Space Challenge. Included in the throng were classrooms from Golden Hills, Cummings Valley and Tompkins Elementary Schools, plus students from Summit Academy, Valley Oaks and Inspire Charter Schools. The Space Challenge is organized by The Arts, Science and Technology Educational Corporation of Tehachapi (AST). According to event organizers Nick Altieri and Laura Lundberg, the mission of the Space Challenge is to, "spark the interest of Tehachapi youth for careers in science, engineering or technology by having a rocket building and launching contest for fourth and fifth grade students."
During the course of the project, each team designs and decorates their rocket and gives it a name. They create a team name and then must design a banner, write an essay and create a team cheer. Each team receives a student mentor from the 11th and 12th grade Tehachapi High School Engineering Manufacturing Academy (THEMA). These students share information about building rockets and talk about careers available in the areas of the sciences and technology.
The culmination of all this work is the launch of the rockets. Each team in turn tries to be the loudest and most energetic as their rockets soars into the sky. The rockets themselves are judged on looks and imagination as well as altitude achieved. The altitude is measured by creating an imaginary triangle with the rocket in the middle of the base. "Sighters," located 500 feet on either side of the rocket, measure the elevation angles. The altitude achieved can be figured by triangulating the angles using a simple geometric formula.
Twenty-five classes vied for the championship trophy. Other than the Best Overall which is based on point accumulation, awards were also given for Highest Launch, Best Rocket, Best Banner, Best Essay and Best Cheer.
Congratulations to Mrs. Chambers' 4th Grade "Space Fury" from Golden Hills Elementary for their Best Overall Trophy. The "Space Fury" team also won Best Overall 4th Grade, Best Overall 5th Grade was awarded to Mr. Wolf's "Wolferines" also from Golden Hills Elementary.
Other awards were:
Highest rocket: 4th - Cummings Valley "Galactic 40 Miners" Mr. Thiesse (677 feet), 5th - "Inspire's Intergalactic Earthlings" (685 feet.)
Best Rocket: 4th - Summit Academy "Space Narwhals" Ms. Enjen, 5th - Golden Hills "Wolferines" Mr. Wolf
Best Essay: 4th - Summit Academy "Space Narwhals" Ms. Enjen, 5th - Summit Academy "Drama Llamas" Ms. Enjen
Best Cheer: 4th - Cummings Valley "Flaming Bananas" Mrs. Robson, 5th - Valley Oaks Charter "Apollo" Mrs. Bryant
Congratulations to all the winners.