The Lakers Rocket Team at Leech Lake Tribal College creates high-powered rockets yearly to compete in the First Nations Launch in Kenosha, WI. The competition is focused on giving Tribal Colleges across the United States $3000 to build, travel, and launch their rockets at the Bong Recreation State Park in Wisconsin.
For a recent competition, the students selected a 4-inch diameter 5-foot tall rocket made by MadCow Rocketry that weighed 13.5 pounds when completed. During the build, students learned the different aspects of the rocket, which included construction, wiring, programming, and simulating the rocket’s performance through Open Rocket. At the competition, students were required to give a 15-minute power point presentation of their rocket build and predictions based on Open Rocket simulations.
On launch day the competition parameters were to have the rocket go between 2500 feet and 3000 feet high and take video on the accent and decent. Leech Lake successfully launched their rocket two times with both launches hitting 2,500 ft and successfully recovered with all components working as predicted. The Lakers Rocket Team ended up winning the “Overall Top Team Award” and a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. Two Lakers Rocket Team students also were invited to participate in “RockOn” – a suborbital rocket payload-build workshop at NASA Wallops in Virginia.