Autistic Students Launch Rockets with NASA's Neurodiversity Network
The NASA Science Activation project team, NASA’s Neurodiversity Network (N3), led by Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA, recently partnered with four high schools that focus on neurodivergent learners. During Summer, 2022, students and teachers at these schools engaged in a rocket and payload building activity that was originally designed for community college students. After an exhaustive search around the San Francisco Bay Area, the N3 team finally found an ideal location to launch the rockets at Petaluma's Prince Park. The launch event included educators, students, and their families and was organized by N3 rocketry expert, Tony Alcocer, with additional support provided by the N3 team and volunteers from the Aeropac rocketry club. These experts helped high school students from Orion Academy (Concord, CA) and Stanbridge Academy (San Mateo, CA) launch approximately 20 rockets, half of which included experimental payloads. All payloads and rockets were recovered successfully, and it was a great experience for all!
"Through the N3 program, our students got the opportunity to explore real world projects in astronomy, rocketry, and electronics. The excitement and enthusiasm that our students brought to the program was readily apparent, and I think they all benefited from the valuable real-world experience it afforded them. I am glad to have been a part of it." Dylan Polugar-Laub, Faculty, Orion Academy
"The students and families at Orion Academy have all benefited from the wonderful programming provided by the N3 program with Sonoma State University and NASA over the past 2 years. The ROCKETRY program in particular brought our community together to witness and support the N3 students at the launch of their rockets. It has been a fantastic experience." Kathryn Stewart, PhD, Director, Orion Academy
NASA’s Neurodiversity Network is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number 80NSSC21M0004 and is part of NASA's Science Activation Portfolio. Learn more about the N3 Project Team’s rocketry resource redevelopment program and view the assembly and launch video on the N3 website.