Next week the skies above the Hill Country will be filled with more than 70 rockets soaring up to two miles high and beyond the sound barrier as Rockets 2010 returns on April 22 - 25.
The four-day event has been moved to the Stewart Ranch at Willow City in order to accommodate the large number of launches. Students from 40 Texas high schools, including Robstown and Tuloso-Midway, will send up a rocket every half hour from six launch pads.
Tuloso-Midway is tentatively scheduled to launch a pair of rockets at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on April 22, while Robstown will launch one at 9:30 a.m. on April 23.
The public is invited to attend this for free. Organizers have added more activities and exhibitors. Representatives of major universities and industries will be on hand. Among the activities are rides on Segway personal transporters. Students from area schools will be given tours of the rocket preparation areas.
Children are also invited to build and launch their own rockets from kits, and participate in workshops by Computer Explorers in the areas of green energy, engineering, deduction, and other crafts. A small fee will be charged for those choosing to build rockets.
Hundreds of volunteers from the area will help guide the public through the event. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Lower Colorado River Authority will provide infrastructure and support. Food will be available for purchase on site, and there will be free parking and comfort facilities.
Rockets 2010 is the culminating activity of the acclaimed SystemsGo Aeroscience program developed over 10 years by Brett Williams, technology teacher at Fredericksburg High School.
Stewart Ranch is located north of Fredericksburg off the Willow City loop. Signs will be posted, and maps to the site, launch schedule, and complete listings of activities are posted online at www.igniteeducation.org.
Organizers remind the public that the area should be considered an experimental testing range.
Schedule may vary, mobility will be limited, access will be controlled, and visitors need to be aware that this is the first flight of all rockets.
For information on lodging, area restaurants and other events in the Fredericksburg area, visitors are encouraged to contact the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, at (830) 997-6523 or www.fredericksburg-texas.com.
Ignite is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to help spread the program to other high schools in Texas.
Anyone wanting to start a program, to provide support, or to learn more about Ignite can visit www.igniteeducation.org or call (830) 997-3567.