Students launch rockets at SUNYIT

By Anna Meiler

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) – Nineteen students were getting up close and personal with rockets at the SUNYIT campus on Tuesday.

It’s part of the National Summer Transportation Institute for students ranging from ninth to twelfth grade.

The Federal Highway Administration is funding the program. Students went through an application and interview process to participate.

By launching rockets, students are learning about thrust, power, safety and procedure.

“It’s one of many topics we’ve covered over the last week and a half, ranging from water with canals, roadways with the DOT, and the design with the new Arterial project, to going to the E.A.D., the Eastern Air Defense sector, and going to the Adirondacks," said Elizabeth Rossi, the K through 12 Outreach Director at SUNYIT. "So we're covering all the bases and exploring careers, exploring technology, looking at safety topics and community impact topics."

The teachers are hoping to inspire career paths for the students.

“I wanted to learn what type of careers are out there and give it a try and see if I like transportation or not. And, you know, just expanding my horizons,” said Kay Ko, a tenth grade student at Proctor High School.

And Rossi says there is no shortage of jobs in this field.

“There’s logistics management, there’s marketing, there’s engineering, there’s even graphic design, there’s communication," Rossi said. "The students have realized that this field that is very much in need of broad, diverse new ideas from young people is very much in need of them in particular. And all of the different engineers we've met over the last week and a half have emphasized that point. So, I think kids recognize that they’re wanted. There’s a role for them to play in the community when they get through high school and college and transportation is a great opportunity for them."

Organizers say they are hoping to bring the program back next year.

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