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Learning lifts off for Oklahoma cadets

January 13, 2020

Top Left: (L-R) Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ethan Daves, Cadet Airman Adam Stafford (background), Cadet Staff Sgt. Jordan Burt, Cadet Airman Ethan Huber and Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Luke Fagg assemble their team’s stomp rocket as Capt. Brandon Lunsford, Sr observes. (Photos: 1st Lt. Tamara Shannon, CAP)

Top Right: (L-R) Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Huber, Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Zachary Sprague, Cadet Staff Sgt. Jack Wills, Cadet Staff Sgt. Alec Million and Cadet Staff Sgt. Aidan Pinkston work as a team to assemble their stomp rocket.

by Capt. Brandon Lunsford Sr., CAP, Oklahoma Wing

JENKS, Okla. – On January 13, 2020 the Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Jenks Flight took Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning to new heights. The unit, which formed in July 2019, has been focusing on hands-on learning. The classroom instruction was Rocket Principles. This block of instruction was taught by Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Kade Koster and Cadet Tech. Sgt. Tyler Chouinard, under the mentorship and direction of 1st Lt. Tamara Shannon, the unit’s Aerospace Education Officer.


(L-R) Cadet Senior Airman Kaitlyn Shannon launches her team’s stomp rocket as Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Kade Koster and Cadet Technical Sgt. Tyler Chouinard observe.

“Taking something like acceleration, inertia and thrust,” said Cadet Tech. Sgt. Tyler Chouinard, “and teaching around Newton’s Laws of Motion was challenging, but I enjoyed it.”

“I understood Newton’s Laws,” stated Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Ethan Daves, “but taking that and putting it in a hands-on activity like the stomp rockets really made it easy to understand for our younger cadets.”

Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Zachary Sprague had a more personal viewpoint. “I’ve done stomp rockets before, and they are a lot of fun. For younger cadets, being able to take a complicated subject like Newton’s Laws and explain it and allow them to see those laws in action – now, that was fun to see.”


Cadet Airman First Class Braden Stafford watches his rocket after launch while his fellow teammates observe and cheer.

“I was not sure how well the cadets would receive the principles of rocketry in this class,” said 1st Lt. Tamara Shannon. “It wasn’t until the stomp rocket activity that they were able to connect the lesson to the laws of motion. That was wonderful to see.”

The Civil Air Patrol provides an array of STEM education kits that are not only available to member units, but also educators as well. Please visit capmembers.com/ae for more information on these free activities.

Follow the adventures of Jenks Riverside Flight at Facebook.com/RiversideOK.CAP.



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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of more than 80 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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