Eight students from Hart County High and Munfordville School make up the "Cave Area Rocket Scientists" the only rocketry team in Kentucky, one of only eleven in the country, and the only one based in an elementary school, to receive this award and a $1500 grant.
The rocket the Munfordville team will fly when they launch from Huntsville, Alabama in May, will stand eight feet tall and will soar a mile into the sky. It will carry two cameras into the sky using infra-red imagery to detect disease in trees and pollution in waterways to assist tree farmers in the Mammoth Cave area.
Dawn Mercer is an education specialist with the National Aeronautics And Space Administration. She says, "So many times students think they like something, but they never get a chance to actually do that. So many times as a teacher I used to get the question, 'Why do we have to know this?' and this gives these students an opportunity to actually see what they can do with the things that they learn."
Jennifer Sims is actually the school's art teacher, but her husband got her interested in rocketry, and rocketry gets the kids excited about learning. She says, "Concepts of math that they never understood in the classroom, or they were scared of, they began to understand because they were putting it to applications they were actually using."
Jennifer Trulock is a Hart County High School freshman, and a member of the Cave Area Rocket Scientists; "You actually get to see what you've actually created, and it's just an amazing adventure that you can build, and show people what you can do."
And who knows? Maybe one of these students will be the first person to go from Munfordville to Mars!