The 2019 Design Cycle Challenge is a place-based education* activity geared toward increasing wonder around rocket design and the space program. 
 

THE INSPIRATION

Last year, our juniors were able to travel to the NASA facility at Michoud and see firsthand the incredible innovation happening in the New Orleans community. We also had five teachers certified into the NASA Network of States - Educator Institute, and during their tour of the Stennis facilities, they were able to see just how much is happening with aerospace engineering in this region, especially with regards to SpaceX. 

THE PROJECT

This momentum made the choice for the annual challenge easy, but in an effort to elevate the products, we changed the timetable to include more dedicated time to research and development and had more pointed instructional videos to address things like the physics of propulsion and the history of aesthetics in aerospace engineering.

The students are still working in their homerooms and building community with their classmates. They are still competing first as homerooms on the grade-level before selecting a single rocket design to represent them at the school-wide competition. This two-day competition will have expert judges, as well presentations by the students to explain their processes, successes, and failures with design thinking.  

*Place-based education immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum.


PAST DESIGN CYCLE CHALLENGES

2018

After researching "seasteading," students were tasked with building a prototype of a floating city. 

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2017

Students created self-propelled, beautiful, and functional Mardi Gras toy float using only the contents of a bag containing everyday objects. 

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2019 FACULTY DESIGN CYCLE CHALLENGE

On the last day before Christmas break, faculty members had the opportunity to experience their own Design Cycle Challenge.

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