Tim Pickens and Huntsville Center for Technology Shine at Event
Tuesday evening was special for the Rocket City Space Pioneers. The Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS) held its annual Professional of the Year Awards Banquet at the Westin in Huntsville's Bridge Street Town Centre. RCSP Team Leader Tim Pickens gave the keynote address and our team member, the Huntsville Center for Technology (HCT), was recognized for outstanding achievements. Last year, Tim was honored as the AIAA Professional of the Year.
Mr. John Stingel, Computer Electronics instructor at HCT, received a 2011-2012 grant from the HATS Science, Technology, Education, and Training (HATSSTEDTRAIN) Program, which is quite possibly the oldest continuous Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Program in the United States. Since 1988, HATS STEDTRAIN has distributed more than $335,000 to schools in the Tennessee Valley area, to include Huntsville and the North Alabama counties of Madison, Limestone, Morgan, Marshall, Cullman, and Lincoln County, Tenn. The organization during that timeframe has excited and fostered the interests of tens of thousands of area students in science and technology from grade K-12.
Here is the summary of John Stingel's efforts with his 2011-2012 grant:
Huntsville Center for Technology (Madison County)
Building the Google Lunar X PRIZE and Rocket City Space Pioneers Moon Rover
Mr. John Stingel:
HCT has teamed up with Rocket City Space Pioneers to compete for the Google Lunar X PRIZE race to the moon. HCT will build and test moon rovers that are part of the required task. We will be required to operate the rovers in simulated space terrain. The main rover will involve 10 electronics students. As you can imagine the project has stirred up a tremendous amount of student interest. I plan to have as many students involved in the project as I can, but I need the hardware to allow them to learn/experiment as much as possible. This money can purchase updated items that will be used for years to come.
They have in fact built and tested the Rover on a simulated moonscape. It is computer controlled and operates autonomously to some extent - quite an achievement for teens, would you not say?
Siemens was so impressed they invited the HCT Team to compete in the GreenPower Electric Car Race this coming October in GoodWood Formula 1 Racing Circuit in the UK. This is a big deal - the Huntsville Center for Technology class is the first and only U.S. Team so invited to compete in this race!
"The Siemens STEM Programs in the UK are HATS STEDTRAIN on nuclear steroids!" said Dr. Mike Baran, HATS STEDTRAIN Committee Chair.
Congratulations to HCT for the work they continue to do, and kudos to HATS for the organization's STEM contributions.