District Five teacher receives Level 1 High Power Rocketry Certification

Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) teacher Dr. Martin Cwiakala successfully completed Level 1 High Power Rocketry Certification (Level 1 HPR) at the Rocketry Organization of South Carolina (ROSCO) field.

The process of Level 1 HPR involves constructing a rocket suitable for H-class rocket motors, successfully flying, and then recovering the rocket. A thirteen-point checklist is reviewed before the flight. Cwiakala constructed an Apogee Components Zephyr flown with an AeroTech H100W rocket motor to approximately 2000 feet. The rocket was painted with the letters ‘CATS’ on the side and The Center’s logo on a fin. Two fins also included the District Five logo.

The rocket will serve as a marketing tool to attract students to the Aerospace Program that Dr. Cwiakala teaches. The rocket certification will allow him to purchase high-power rocket engines up to the I-class, and allow him to mentor students for Level 1 HPR certification.

“Model rocketry with well-defined objectives like those present in the TARC competition provide a clear application for science and engineering with applied principles,” Cwiakala said. “As a result, I will utilize rocket science in all of my engineering classes.”

The major focus of the aerospace engineering course at The Center is to expose students to the world of aeronautics, flight and engineering through the fields of aeronautics, aerospace engineering and related areas of study. Lessons engage students in engineering design problems related to aerospace information systems, astronautics, rocketry, propulsion, the physics of space science, space life sciences, the biology of space science, principles of aeronautics, structures and materials, and systems engineering.

Last year, Cwiakala mentored five students who competed in The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC). TARC is the largest student model rocket competition in the world. This year’s student winners took home over $22,000 in prize money. Cwiakala will be hosting the RocCATS (CATS Rocketry Team) for this year’s TARC challenge. Returning RocCATS members will not only work on the TARC competition but will also work towards Level 1 HPR certification. Level 1
HPR shows potential aerospace employers that not only a theoretical knowledge base exists, but practical knowledge as well.

For more information regarding rocketry in South Carolina, see education https://www.rocketrysouthcarolina.org/.