Tau Beta Pi hosts rocket competition at local elementary schools

Western Michigan University's chapter of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi coordinates an annual water bottle rocket competition at Kalamazoo-area schools. The rocket competition is part of the Tau Beta Pi MindSet Program designed to inspire students to consider careers in science and engineering.  Prior to the competition, WMU students individuals and teams a tutorial on how to design and build rockets.

Tau Beta Pi at WMU 


A water bottle rocket competition was held for about 100 fifth-graders at Riverside Elementary School in Constantine, MI. The event was coordinated by WMU students Bailey Papes and Darren Promer and fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Susan Middleton. Teams with the longest flight times earned prizes from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The competition required two visits to Riverside Elementary; first, students were taught the fundamentals of building rockets (left), followed by launch day one week later (right). Photos courtesy Susan Middleton.


Spring 2018

A water bottle rocket competition was held for 5th graders at E. P. Clarke Elementary School in St. Joseph at the end of the spring semester. Students presented their design tradeoffs before about 90 launches. Prizes were provided by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. WMU students Gabriel Vivan and Corey Lee and Natalija Galens at E. P. Clarke Elementary School coordinated this event.
Photos by TBP member Alexis Blakley.

Spring 2017

Conner Knepley, Travis Shivley, and Clarissa Stanton led a team of about 10 TBP student members to offer a water bottle rocket competition at St. Mary School in Paw Paw. The rocket constructed by Saint Mary School faculty traveled the farthest distance.
Photos courtesy Principal Michelle Radomsky, Saint Mary School.