Union Grove students plan record-breaking rocket launch - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Union Grove students plan record-breaking rocket launch

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(L-R) Students Hunter Gray, Garrett Gibson, and Daylee Dyess pose with the rocket they helped build. (L-R) Students Hunter Gray, Garrett Gibson, and Daylee Dyess pose with the rocket they helped build.

Students at Union Grove ISD will attempt to break a record next week when they travel to the White Sands Missile Testing Site to launch a rocket they built.

Only five other schools in the country will be attending the event.

"It'll be the experience that very few people have had as students," Systems Go instructor Greg Park said.

Greg Park's students have spent the last 11 months designing and building parts for a rocket. School employees, students, and members of the community donated time and materials to the project.

"We know what we're doing. We're ready; we're prepared. If anything happens, we're prepared. We have everything we need, we're just hoping to get it on the launch pad and beat the record," student Daylee Dyess said.

Dyess says she and her fellow classmates ramped up their efforts after school ended this year, working 7 or 8 hour days to meet Tuesday's deadline.

"It's a lot of pressure, but it's good pressure. And if it doesn't work, it's  definitely going to be a learning experience," Dyess said.

The group of 15 students and teachers will leave for New Mexico on Saturday and plan to launch their rocket next Wednesday.

"To finally have it finished is just a miracle to me," student Hunter Gray said.

Gray said there have been a lot of problems along the way, but adds that he has learned a valuable lesson from the experience.

"There's always going to be another problem, but it's how you fix it ... you don't let it bother you so much," Gray said.

The project has also brought a community together.

"Coaches, faculty, just random people in our community; they want to see it work," Dyess said.

Greg Park said he will continue directing the Systems Go program next year, and he hopes to add a camera to the next rocket to capture and post video of the flight.

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