Taking Off With Engineering

Dr. Tod Schuck
Lockeed Martin Missile Systems
HMS Teen Science Cafe


Engineering was the focus of today’s café. Dr. Schuck from Lockheed Martin’s MS2 department was our special guest for the March Teen Science Cafe! He is an award-winning author and adjunct professor at both Johns Hopkins and Rowan University, with an expert level of knowledge in Combat Identification.

At the March cafe, he introduced the students to the concept of missile defense, and interactively explained the various details to the students with a model rocket. Interesting and engaging videos were shown, and it was evident that the students were captivated with the new information. When there were moments in the video that the students didn’t understand, he encouraged the students to try to figure it out, and it was surprising how much knowledge the students already had about the related engineering concepts.

He explained how the rotation of the missiles was similar to throwing a football, the relation of color to heat, and more information about the technical engineering concepts underlying the rockets. Probably the best part of the presentation was when the students requested to see the video of the missile collision multiple times to understand what happened, and that convinced me that they were truly having a good time.It was truly a perfect cafe, and many of the students left with the opinion that this was the best cafe yet.

Hands on Activity

The hands-on activity was making paper rockets, with the students having the option of customizing the rocket to fly the farthest. It became a friendly competition for a prize, and the students were eager to beat each other and win the title of “Best Rocket”! Who knew that a small, engaging activity would turn into an interactive and friendly competition?