27 / March / 2019

Reaching New Heights


Posted 27 March 2019

Reaching New Heights

By Kylie Knight - Moreton Life

Cran Middlecoat still remembers the first rocket he made as a boy and the feeling of elation when it flew a few metres in to the air. It's a feeling he wants to share with children everywhere. 

"I remember thinking, 'It actually worked. I did it'," he says. 

The self-confessed aerospace geek and former airline pilot launched It's Rocket Science Adventures with wife Sarah from their Murrumba Downs home a few years ago. 

They offer STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities which are aerospace-based. 

The program they've developed is linked to the national curriculum and their Rocket Science in a Box pack is portable, so it's available to schools no matter where they are located. 

"I met Sarah in the Kimberley (WA) when I was doing mail runs and flying doctor clinics. I saw kids disadvantaged because of where they're born," Cran says. 

"We've designed the equipment so it can be taken anywhere. I really want to get it to remote area schools."

Inside the box is lesson material for 12 months and a specially-designed water rocket launching system.

"We do all the lesson plans and risk assessment for them,' Cran says. 

And the program can be tailored to anyone from two to 102 years of age. 

Systems vary from a basic set-up for younger children to hi-tech versions with electronics in the nose cone to collect data which is connected to an iPad for analysis. 

The business won a Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence and Innovation Award in the Telstra Innovation Excellence category in November. For Carn, the biggest reward is seeing children get excited about firing a rocket they have made themselves. 

He says classrooms are not full of "round pegs" and children have varying interests and levels of creativity. 

"Rocket science levels the playing field," Cran says.

Children can create all kinds of rockets - ones that look pretty, to ones that fly the best. 

"It's getting young people excited about their education through project-based learning," he says. 

So, what reaction does he typically see when a child takes part on one of his projects? "Wow, over how well something goes, especially a rocket that a young person has made themselves," he says. 

But even failure is not failure. "It's OK to fail. It's only negative, if you don't learn anything. 

Visit www.itsrocketscience.com.au