On Thursday, July 14, 2011, representatives of SystemsGo traveled fromFredericksburg,Texas, to the U.S. Army’sWhite Sands Missile Range,New Mexico, to sign an historic Educational Partnership Agreement.
Brigadier General John S. Regan, Commanding General of White Sands Missile Range, signed the agreement with Brett Williams, founding instructor of SystemsGo Aeroscience. It was one of the last major tasks of Brig. Gen. Regan before relinquishing command.
The signing ceremony culminated a yearlong process to establish an Education Partnership between the two entities. “It’s been a long road but a very successful one,” Williams said.
According to Williams, SystemsGo’s main goal is to promote an engineering career path to High School students by creating a program that is rich in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). SystemsGo is now used in 60Texashigh schools, with 1600 students designing, building, and launching their own rockets. The program also hosts summer rocket camps for young students, and conducts training for high school science teachers.
According to Scott Netherland, SystemsGo Board of Directors and author of the agreement, this Education Partnership Agreement will expand the opportunity for SystemsGo high schools to travel to White Sands Missile Range to accomplish the Level Three (Goddard) rocket launches. These launches are designed to lift a 35-pound university payload to an altitude between 80,000 to 100,000 feet, and require the use of a national range to provide range safety, tracking, and recovery of the launch vehicle.
FredericksburgHigh Schoolstudents have traveled to WSMR for the past 13 years for these launches, and this year will be the first time for other high schools using the SystemsGo Aeroscience curriculum to travel to WSMR for the Level Three launches. This agreement also formalizes the partnership between SystemsGo and WSMR that has been informal and on a year-to-year basis. In so doing, it ensures schools entering the Goddard phase will have launch opportunities into the future.
The schedule calls for students from threeTexashigh schools to travel to WSMR in August for launching their rockets.
Others participating in the ceremony included Netherland and the following WSMR personnel: Mr. Dan Hicks, Chief of Staff; Mr. Lance Smith, Test Officer; Mr. Cedric Baca, Chief, Special Projects Branch; Mrs. Leticia Sanchez-Freeman, Chief, Operations Control Division; Mr. Dick Vanbeest, Chief, Management and Contract Analysis; Branch; Mr. Patrick Romero, Deputy Director, Materiel Test Directorate; Mr. Enrique Torres, Intern.
SystemsGo is a 501(c)(3) Education non-profit organization with the mission to enhance education and workforce development and to inspire tomorrow’s innovators. This curriculum is intended to allow the United States to produce the ”most valued engineer” to compete in the global market and to allow the United States to maintain the competitive edge in technology and manufacturing industries.