MINSTER — The Minster Rocket Club is embarking upon new challenges, and with that, comes a new name — Minster STEM Club.
The Minster Rocket Club formed in 2009 to encourage Minster Local School students in grades seven through twelve to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Since that time, more than 200 members have expanded their STEM skills participating in the club.
Over the past 10 years, 20 teams have qualified to participate at the world’s largest rocket contest, Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). Eighty-five percent of those teams finished in the top 40. This past year, a fourth place finish at TARC earned a team $10,000.
In 2013, a 10th place finish at TARC earned a coveted invitation to participate in the NASA Student Launch competition, a research-based, competitive, exploration rocketry challenge for high school, college, and university teams across the nation.
Minster Rocket Club finished first among high school teams and bested several university teams, including Notre Dame, MIT, and Louisville to name a few.
Engineering and problem-solving has always been at the center of Minster Rocket Club and many members have gone on to pursue an education in mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical, construction, and aerospace engineering.
A recent article on the forecast of STEM-related jobs stated that between 2018 and 2028, the number of STEM jobs will grow 13 percent, compared to nine percent for non-STEM jobs, with positions in computing, engineering, advanced manufacturing, and artificial intelligence leading the way.
“The reason for the name change is to reflect the expanding STEM disciplines the club is taking on,” said Ted Oldiges, Minster club advisor. “Robotics, UAS (drone), and AI (artificial intelligence) competitions have developed that will directly correspond to the future needs of STEM-related jobs.”
Currently, 32 club members are busy preparing for competitions. Six rocket teams have designed, built and test-flown their rockets, striving to achieve their desired altitude of 856 feet in a duration of 43 seconds.
The drone team is actively engaged in ground school, a required course all members must pass before the team may build and program their drone. Two robotics teams will be forming this summer.
To help get the robotics program off the ground the Minster Journeyman Club has made a generous donation. Additional sponsors include, Minster Service Club, Minster Civic Association, Knights of Columbus, Craig Monnin, and Cory Schultz.
For more up-to-date information about what’s happening within the Minster STEM Club, visit www.minsterstemclub.com, or follow the organization on Facebook or Twitter @minsterstem.
Minster STEM Club is a 501C(3) organization and always looking for sponsors. To contribute to Minster STEM Club, contact Ted Oldiges, at 937-638-7164.