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Rockets for Inclusive Science Education (RISE)

What is RISE?

The Rockets for Inclusive Science Education (RISE) program seeks to foster and maintain an interest in STEM fields for underrepresented students. In the United States, even though black/African American students make up ~14% of the college-going population, only ~4% of physics degrees are awarded to these students each year. Bright students like these are being turned away from the sciences at an early age and something must be done to combat this. Specifically, our goal is to immerse these students in the fields of physics, astronomy, and engineering to create a “scientific identity” so that they can envision themselves as professionals in these fields.

The Rockets for Inclusive Science Education (RISE) program is implemented with State College Area High School and run by the McEntaffer research group from the Pennsylvania State University. We specifically work with Dr. Seria Chatters, Director of Equity and Inclusivity for the State College Area School District, and Mr. Bob White, State High’s physics teacher to make this possible. The group is also affiliated with the Penn State Rainbow Science Network, an organizational coalition within the Penn State Eberly College of Science to foster diverse and inclusive learning environments and research groups in STEM.

RISE instructs students under the guidance of McEntaffer Group researchers to build model rockets with a single-board-computer-controlled payload that includes a suite of sensors and a camera. Students are then taken within State College area to launch their rockets and collect data for subsequent analysis.

Want to Learn More? 

Check out the links to learn more about the structure of the RISE program, future program developments, and our RISE highlights gallery.