Alamo Heights High School graduates to launch rocket in honor of student

Launch to take place at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico

SAN ANTONIO – Students in Colin Lang's rocketry class learn different skills and prepare for four years to eventually build a rocket.

"As juniors they build four rockets that year, while learning physics, and chemistry, aerodynamics, all the different things that go into making a rocket stable," Colin Lang, Aerospace Science Teacher said.

The students are part of the program called "Systems Go".

In a few weeks they will launch a rocket at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This year they are honoring one of the members of the first launch group.

"One of the young men who was part of the program, Blake Duckers, this year passed away," Lang said.

This year's rocket is dedicated to Duckers and his family.

"His uncle was in his bedroom and cleaning it up and he found this twisted piece of blue metal sitting on his night stand and he brought it out and said to Blake's mom and he said that's his rocket. He took it with him everywhere and it was his most prized possession," Lang said.

Land said many former students like Duckers enjoyed learning about science in high school and it's crucial to continue pushing them for the industry to continue.

"There's a huge bubble of engineers that are now retiring. Literally tens of thousands of engineers retirement right now, the problem is that we are not turning people to replace them. Less than three percent of our graduating seniors across this country are going to engineering school. That's like a ten percent drop in the last decade," Lang said.

"You learn how to innovate and think for yourself," Alyssa Bennett, Project Member said.

Bennett is the only female in this year's group and that has only pushed her even more.

"I think definitely it’s definitely a misconception in the industry. I think being in a program like this really helps change that because there are a lot of guys in here who have learned that I can do just as much as they can," Bennett said.

The students are using hands on experience and gaining experience they will use in any career field they choose. 

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