14 Jun 2016

NWIC takes First Place in First Nations Launch National Rocket Competition

The Northwest Indian College Space Center competed in the 7th Annual First Nations Launch (FNL) National Rocket Competition held in Wisconsin. There are two challenges at FNL – the Tribal Challenge and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Challenge. The Tribal Challenge was to construct a dual-deployment high-powered rocket with a scientific payload that collects comparative data throughout the flight. The AISES Challenge was to construct a high-powered rocket that carries and deploys a self-constructing space station that is double in size of the payload bay. These rockets are all designed and constructed by the students.

Here are the results of the two competitions:

AISES Challenge
1st place Northwest Indian College 555 points
2nd place UCLA 502 points
3rd place Colorado School of Mines 476 points

Tribal Challenge
1st place Northwest Indian College 550 points
2nd  place College of Menominee Nation 451 points
3rd place Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College 423 points

Christian Cultee, Co-Team Lead for the NWIC Tribal Team, developed the scientific payload with sound and vibration sensors that would retrieve data from inside the rocket. Christopher Lane, the AISES Team Space Station constructor, developed a self-constructing payload out of tubes, rubber bands, a 3D printed nose cone, and collapsible Frisbees.

The NWIC teams competed against colleges with AISES chapters, such as Utah State University, Colorado School of Mines, University of Alaska, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as Tribal colleges, such as Leech Lake Tribal College, College of Menominee Nation, and many others.

Some components that the teams were scored on are: submissions of reports, presentations, and scientific experiments. At the competition, the NWIC Space Center teams received the Aesthetic Award for most innovative and professional appearance, and the Team Spirit Award for the team that displayed interactive spirit, helpfulness, and cooperation. On June 1st, Northwest Indian College Space Center received an email saying that they had won both AISES and Tribal Challenges with award of $6,000 for travel with an invitation to tour NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, FL.

One of our team members, Christian Cultee, appeared prominently in a newspaper article, https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/rockets_red_glare_487609146.php written by a local Kenosha, WI reporter.


Here are some photos from the event

Space Center Team April 2016

AISES Team: Rachel Arnold (Mentor), Chris Lane, Renae Stanley, Murray Phair, Matilda Brooks, Gary Brandt (Advisor). Jessica Williams missed the trip because of a family emergency.


Space Center Tribal Team April 2016

Tribal Team: Raven Redhorn, Lisa Redsteer, Christian Cultee, Sarah Finkbonner, Kevin Hunter, Baby Romona (in carriage). Andrea Williams missed the trip because of a family emergency.


Space Center vehicle April 2016

Space Station landed. A very good ending to a four-month long project that involved thirteen students from a variety of educational programs.