Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Space Adventures, Ltd » Mon, 22 Mar 1999 04:00:00



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 1999

CONTACT:
Robert Pearlman, Space Adventures
703-524-7173

SPACE ADVENTURES AWARDS SUSPENDED "ROCKET BOY" SCHOLARSHIP TO LEARN ROCKETRY
FROM ASTRONAUT
Inspired By "October Sky," David Silverstein Set To Reach For The Stars But
Was Unjustly Suspended For The Entire School Year For Bringing A Homemade
"Rocket" To School

(Arlington, VA) -- March 22 -- Space Adventures has presented a middle
school student the opportunity to learn more about rocketry after he was
suspended for storing a home-built rocket in his school locker. David
Silverstein accepted the invitation on Sunday, and will be Space Adventures'
guest during its July 3 - 4, 1999 Independence Day Astronaut Rocketry
Workshop in Washington, DC.

Inspired by the movie "October Sky," David, a seventh-grade student at the
Desert Sky Middle School in Glendale, Arizona, built the "rocket" from
common household items: a potato chip canister, airplane paint, matches, and
other household materials. He brought the rocket to school so that he could
stop in a empty lot and try to launch it on his way home.

However, when the "rocket" was discovered in his locker, the school called
the police. He was then suspended, first for 12 days and then for the
remainder of the school year. School officials classified the rocket as a
firearm.

Space Adventures staff learned of David's plight after reading an article on
the NASA Watch website <http://www.reston.com/nasa/watch.html>. Identifying
with the youth, they wanted to do something for him to show that his
creativity and his interest in rocketry was a good thing.

"Obviously, bringing an explosive to school is dangerous," commented Eric
Anderson, Space Adventures' Vice President and General Manager, "but this
was not an explosive, it was made from a Pringles can. More importantly,
the punishment does nothing to help encourage David to understand how to
safely conduct model rockets and express his creativity. We wanted to show
David and other students that rocketry can be pursued in a safe and fun
environment. After all, if it wasn't for the model rocket builders of old,
we never would have succeeded in going to the Moon."

The movie "October Sky" is based on the true story of Homer Hickam and his
friends, who as children growing up during the early days of the space race
experimented as David did when they built their first rockets. However,
Homer and the other "rocket boys" were given an opportunity to learn from
their mistakes and successfully build safe and functioning model rockets.
Homer later became a NASA engineer, and credits his early experiences as a
driving motivation for his successes.

Homer Hickam, himself, learned of David's situation and contacted him
directly via email. He encouraged David not to lose the drive and
imagination which lead him to build the rocket, and he applauded Space
Adventures' invitation. Mr. Hickam has also agreed, pending his schedule, to
attend the July 4 workshop, and looks forward to the chance of meeting David
in-person.

"I encouraged David not to let the school win out," said Hickam. "I hope
what Space Adventures' has done for David will continue to inspire him to
reach for his dreams."

During the July 4th weekend workshop, David will join other students as they
learn about rocketry, including the basics of propulsion, aerodynamics, and
safety. He and the other attendees will then build their own rockets.
Although not endorsing the program, NASA has granted permission for David
and the others to launch their rockets at Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, Maryland. Leading the workshop will be former astronaut Charlie
Walker.

Walker said, "Space Adventures has put on some spectacular events in the
past, and this one will be no different. I am very much looking forward to
sharing my stories from space with the kids and to teaching them a little
about rocketry."

The workshop will end on a spectacular note with a trip to view the
Independence Day fireworks on the nation's Mall. After completing the
rocketry program, David and the others will receive an astronaut-signed
certificate of achievement, a video of their experiences, and their rockets.

After accepting Space Adventures' offer, David said, "Applying my creativity
without breaking the rules is great and being able to build a rocket that
might really work is a fantastic dream come true."

"Space Adventures has given my son an opportunity to explore with his
imagination again," said Ed Silverstein, David's father. "Our thanks to your
organization, Homer Hickam and Keith Cowing of NASA Watch for inspiring my
son and remembering what it is like to be a 'kid'."

Proceeds raised from this workshop will be donated to the Students for the
Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), a student-run non-profit
dedicated to furthering space education. Parents or students interested in
participating in this or any of the other rocketry workshops scheduled
should contact Space Adventures directly.

###

Space Adventures, Ltd. is the world's premier space travel and tourism
agency. Founded by astronauts and adventure travel pioneers, Space
Adventures offers all manner of educational and adventure space experience
programs. Through its Steps To Space(TM) program, adventurers can already
experience flying in zero-gravity, rocket at 2.5 times the speed of sound to
the edge of space, and tour the world's space and astronomy facilities,
institutions and centers. Space Adventures has also partnered with the
leading rocket companies in the world to begin actual flights into space
within the next three years. For more information or to reserve a seat, call
888-85-SPACE or visit the website: http://www.spaceadventures.com/  

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Ted Cochr » Mon, 22 Mar 1999 04:00:00



Quote:

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>March 22, 1999

>CONTACT:
>Robert Pearlman, Space Adventures
>703-524-7173

>SPACE ADVENTURES AWARDS SUSPENDED "ROCKET BOY" SCHOLARSHIP TO LEARN ROCKETRY
>FROM ASTRONAUT

Justice still prevails once in a while.

Way to whip, Space Adventures!

--tc

My opinions only.

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by doug holverso » Tue, 23 Mar 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
> "I encouraged David not to let the school win out," said Hickam.

It's about time a smart kid triumphed over "those stupid teachers"!!!
:b

BTW- Is it just me or does Mensa seem composed 2/3s of people who were
former teachers pets and the other 1/3 really hated school?

-DGH-

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Tom Emerso » Tue, 23 Mar 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

>As much as this story is inspiring, I still think is was a stupid thing to
do.
>Nobody really knows what this kid was really thinking.  Now I may be making
a
>jump here, but couldn't he have been just some crazy pryotechnic kid who
>happened to see October Sky because it gave away chemical formulas for
>propellants?  If he was really interested in rocketry, why didn't he take
it
>safe and secure permission with the science department and brought it to
them
>to hold on to until the end of school the next day?  Unless he had
something to
>hide...
>NOTE:  This story is inspiring in the fact that NASA has an ear turned to
the
>school's of america.  But the kid could have been lying.  Or he could be
>telling the truth.  If so, Godspeed to a future at NASA.  If not, I hope he
>doesn't hurt himself.

>I DON'T MEEN THIS AS  A TROLL

I think I read/saw elements of both sides here -- the story indicated, along
with more-or-less normal materials to make the "rocket" [pringles can for
the body tube] that he had included MATCHES -- this sets off a warning bell
in my mind: what for?  Fuze?  "matcheads-in-CO2-bulb" as the "engine"?  The
initial 12-day suspension MAY be justified here if the rocket were truly
unsafe (certainly not a year, but I suspect that might have been an
"automatic" suspension as many school districts are enforcing 1-year
suspensions for possession of FIREARMS, and it was noted that the rocket was
eventually classified as a "firearm")

True to form, classifying a pringles-can-rocket as a "firearm" would match
case-for-case the public-official's conclusion that Homer & friends were the
ones who lauched the "rocket" that started the forest fire without actually
LOOKING at the device in question...

Another questionable aspect was the indication he wanted to "fly it in an
empty field on the way home from school" -- what's missing here?  If you
said [***] supervision, give yourself 10 points...  Was the child's age
mentioned in the article [it isn't cached on my server, so I can't check
right now]  It sounds like he was a bit young for what he was attempting
[alone], so despite the positive aspects of the news article, I'd place this
in the "likely to be unsuccessful" category.

HOWEVER, with the intercession of NASA, et al., I expect this to be turned
around and that the kid WILL learn not only the safety rules, but that
despite the often seemingly-uncaring attitude of ***s, we REALLY do have
the best interests of the child in mind when we say "you CANNOT do this!"
[what we fail to say, or the kid fails to hear, is "without supervision", so
the kids don't pick up on the fact there may be a way to "do" something fun]

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by DrumBo » Wed, 24 Mar 1999 04:00:00


As much as this story is inspiring, I still think is was a stupid thing to do.
Nobody really knows what this kid was really thinking.  Now I may be making a
jump here, but couldn't he have been just some crazy pryotechnic kid who
happened to see October Sky because it gave away chemical formulas for
propellants?  If he was really interested in rocketry, why didn't he take it
safe and secure permission with the science department and brought it to them
to hold on to until the end of school the next day?  Unless he had something to
hide...
NOTE:  This story is inspiring in the fact that NASA has an ear turned to the
school's of america.  But the kid could have been lying.  Or he could be
telling the truth.  If so, Godspeed to a future at NASA.  If not, I hope he
doesn't hurt himself.

I DON'T MEEN THIS AS  A TROLL

Morgan

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Jon38 » Wed, 24 Mar 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

>As much as this story is inspiring, I still think is was a stupid thing to
>do.
>Nobody really knows what this kid was really thinking.  Now I may be making a
>jump here, but couldn't he have been just some crazy pryotechnic kid who
>happened to see October Sky because it gave away chemical formulas for
>propellants?  

If you will go back and reread the original story, he did not see October Sky
until after the incident.  His father had gone to see it and was telling him
about it.  This is what inspired him to try to build his own.

I agree that it wasn't exactly smart the way he went about it, but if he and
his dad didn't know about Estes or any of the other companies out there, he may
have figured he'd have to try the route Homer took.  Dangerous, yes, but at
least he was caught before something worse than a suspension happened.

If he was really interested in rocketry, why didn't he take it

Quote:
>safe and secure permission with the science department and brought it to them
>to hold on to until the end of school the next day?  Unless he had something
>to
>hide...
>NOTE:  This story is inspiring in the fact that NASA has an ear turned to the
>school's of america.  But the kid could have been lying.  Or he could be
>telling the truth.  If so, Godspeed to a future at NASA.  If not, I hope he
>doesn't hurt himself.

>I DON'T MEEN THIS AS  A TROLL

>Morgan

Not taken as a troll.  In fact, it raises a few good points, although I'm
inclined to believe his story.  

John O'Donnell  NAR 60742  Sr. L2  CSAR Sec 113
Visit my web page at http://members.aol.com/Jon3854/index.html

"The last man to leave here was never heard from again, he won't be back this
way 'til 2010" - Planet P

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by The Silent Observe » Wed, 24 Mar 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

> BTW- Is it just me or does Mensa seem composed 2/3s of people who were
> former teachers pets and the other 1/3 really hated school?

> -DGH-

Couldn't' tell you -- I've never attended a meeting or taken the test.
I don't doubt I could get in; I've just never seen it as desirable after
meeting a few members.

O'course, I'm not what psychologists call a "joiner," either -- I only
joined NAR for the insurance, originally, and I got elected President of
my Section because we had five founders, needed five officers, and I was
the one originally calling for formation of a Section (in order to
pursue launch options locally).

--
 WARNING!!  This area has been designated an official DOPE FREE ZONE!!

      If you're going to be a dope, please do it somewhere else!

Donald Qualls, aka The Silent Observer           NAR # 70141-SR Insured
Rocket Pages             http://members.aol.com/silntobsvr/launches.htm

Opinions expressed are my own -- take them for what they're worth
and don't expect them to be perfect.

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Dave/Kristin Ha » Thu, 25 Mar 1999 04:00:00


: > "I encouraged David not to let the school win out," said Hickam.

: BTW- Is it just me or does Mensa seem composed 2/3s of people who were
: former teachers pets and the other 1/3 really hated school?

Dunno.  My impression of the Mensa folks I've met is "Boring clod who's
too busy inflating his own ego to go out and get a life."

--
David Hall
Propulsion Geek At Large

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Robert Allan Schwar » Tue, 06 Apr 1999 04:00:00



Quote:

>It's about time a smart kid triumphed over "those stupid teachers"!!!
>:b

>BTW- Is it just me or does Mensa seem composed 2/3s of people who were
>former teachers pets and the other 1/3 really hated school?

I have been an active member of Mensa since 1978, and have met very few
people who resemble your description.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Allan Schwartz       | voice (617) 499-9470
Senior Instructor           | fax   (617) 249-0330

955 Massachusetts Ave. #354 | URL   http://www.tessellation.com/index.html
Cambridge, MA 02139         |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Robert Allan Schwar » Tue, 06 Apr 1999 04:00:00



Quote:

>: BTW- Is it just me or does Mensa seem composed 2/3s of people who were
>: former teachers pets and the other 1/3 really hated school?

>Dunno.  My impression of the Mensa folks I've met is "Boring clod who's
>too busy inflating his own ego to go out and get a life."

I have been an active member of Mensa since 1978, and have met very few
people who resemble your description.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Allan Schwartz       | voice (617) 499-9470
Senior Instructor           | fax   (617) 249-0330

955 Massachusetts Ave. #354 | URL   http://www.tessellation.com/index.html
Cambridge, MA 02139         |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Vamidpo » Wed, 07 Apr 1999 04:00:00


The best bumper sticker I ever saw said simply "Mensa"... but it was mounted
upside-down.

Chuck Barndt
The Launch Pad
http://www.the-launch-pad.com

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Russmi » Wed, 07 Apr 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

>The best bumper sticker I ever saw said simply "Mensa"... but it was mounted
>upside-down.

How about "Densa", the organization of those
who had trouble lern'in 'bout protons, neutrons, fig newtons and morons...

Russell

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by bob » Wed, 07 Apr 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

> The best bumper sticker I ever saw said simply "Mensa"... but it was mounted
> upside-down.

> Chuck Barndt
> The Launch Pad
> http://www.the-launch-pad.com

Hey Chuck,

That's understandable and seems reasonable to me.  The person was most
likely bending over when installing it and from that perspective the
decal was placed accurately.

Bob
: )

 
 
 

Space Adventures Awards Suspended "Rocket Boy" Rocketry Scholarship

Post by Robert Allan Schwar » Sat, 10 Apr 1999 04:00:00



Quote:

>The best bumper sticker I ever saw said simply "Mensa"... but it was mounted
>upside-down.

>Chuck Barndt
>The Launch Pad
>http://www.the-launch-pad.com

The "official" Mensa bumper sticker says "Mensans do it thoughtfully".

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Allan Schwartz       | voice (617) 499-9470
Senior Instructor           | fax   (617) 249-0330

955 Massachusetts Ave. #354 | URL   http://www.tessellation.com/index.html
Cambridge, MA 02139         |
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