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Young Colorado Scientists Help Celebrate Apollo Mission's 50th Anniversary

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) - The 50th anniversary of NASA's Apollo Mission will hold extra significance for a group of budding aerospace engineers. On Saturday, K-12 students, alongside interns from United Launch Alliance and Ball Aerospace, will commemorate the anniversary with a student rocket launch.

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"They are scientists in the making, and they come up with these ideas!" said Amy Moran, a kindergarten teacher at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette.

This is the 11th year ULA and Ball have been hosting the student launch. Moran has been mentoring kindergartners and other student participants for the last six launches.

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"They're the future of our world!" Moran laughed. "And everybody's a budding engineer. And like I said before, we all have to problem solve!"

ULA interns design, build and refurbish the high-power sport rocket dubbed "Future Heavy Super Sport," while interns from Ball Aerospace and mentors, like Moran, work with K-12 students to build payloads that launch on the rocket.

Each team has a unique payload with a specific goal.

"In here we put our Arduino Uno and we coded it to gather temp, pressure and also show us altitude," said Phillip Fischer, a 6th grader from Peak to Peak school.

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Fischer and his friends are the youngest participants next to the team dubbed the "Kinderducks."

"They made these gigantic banners and they are about 6 feet across. The reason we have ducks is because we thought we needed some kind of weight at the bottom to pull it," said Moran.

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Each of Moran's students weighted small rubber ducks with sand and will, hopefully, watch their school banner float down from 5,500 feet.

Moran says watching the kids learn makes each launch just exciting the last.

"This is like the coolest thing that has ever happened. To me, it's a life changing experience."

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The 2019 Student Rocket Launch will take place July 20 at Fort Carson south of Colorado Springs.

LINK: United Launch Alliance

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