According to this self-proclaimed geek who is sharing his passion with a new generation, Rocket science levels the playing field. Interest starts to take off.
CRAN Middlecoat also recalls the boy's first rocket and the feeling of excitement as he soared a few metres into the air. It's an all over feeling he wants to share with people.
“I remember thinking, ‘It actually worked. I did it’,” he says.
A few years ago, the self-confessed aerospace nerd and former airline pilot launched It's Rocket Science Adventures with wife Sarah coming from their Murrumba Downs home.
They offer aerospace-based STEM (Science , Technology , Engineering, and Math) activities.
The program they have developed is linked to the national curriculum, and their Rocket Science is portable in a box pack, so it is available to schools wherever they may be.
“I met Sarah in the Kimberley (WA) when I was doing mail runs and flying doctor clinics. I saw kids disadvantaged because of where they’re born,” Cran says.
“We’ve designed the equipment so it can be taken anywhere. I really want to get it to remote area schools.”
Inside the box is lesson material and equipment for 12 months and a specially-designed water rocket launching system.
“We do all the lesson plans and risk assessment for them,” Cran says.
And the program can be tailored to anybody aged between two and 102.
Systems vary from a basic setup for younger children to hi-tech versions with electronics in the nose cone to collect data for analysis that is connected to an iPad.
In November, the business won a Business Excellence and Innovation Award for Moreton Bay Region in the Telstra Innovation Excellence category. The biggest reward for Cran is seeing kids get excited about firing a rocket that they made themselves.
He says classrooms are not full of “round pegs” and children have varying interests and levels of creativity. “Rocket science levels the playing field,” Cran says.
Children can create all kinds of rockets — ones that look pretty, to ones that fly the best.
“It’s getting young people excited about their education through project-based learning,” he says.
So, what reaction does he typically see when a child takes part in one of his programs? “Wow, over how well something goes, especially a rocket that a young person has made themselves,” he says.
But even failure is not failure. “It’s OK to fail. It’s only negative if you don’t learn anything,” Cran says.
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