Past Events


Millard Oakley STEM Center Past Events

Upper Cumberland Rural STEM Initiative (UCRSI)
Rural STEM Education Conference

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:30am-5:30pm

Rockets & Engines: Build & Launch with NASA
Sat., July 20 & Sun., July 21, 2013 from 1:30-4:30pm

Featuring Frederick Kepner of NASA's Marshall Space Fight Center

Build on Saturday and launch on Sunday! This 6-hour workshop is designed for 2 to 3-person groups: 1-2 children and 1 adult family member. Each group builds 1 rocket together.

Join the Oakley STEM Center as we explore energy, motion, mechanics and natural forces using model rocketry (age appropriate for 4th through 12th graders).

Participants discussed the underlying principles of rocket flight and NASA exploration with a NASA Education Specialist, Frederick Kepner, as they built and launched a rocket during this two-day event.

Topics covered included: speed and velocity; gravitational forces; potential and kinetic energy; conservation of energy; and Newton’s Laws of Motion!

About Frederick Kepner, NASA Education Specialist | Marshall Space Flight Center

Frederick Kepner works as an Education Specialist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL.  In addition to working on the management team of NASA’s Student Launch Projects, Mr. Kepner manages the MSFC Educator Resource Center (ERC) which serves to educate teachers and provide materials to enhance STEM activities in the classroom.

Kepner spent two years teaching the NASA Basics of Rocketry workshop to teachers nationwide and thoroughly enjoys encouraging the use of rocketry in the classroom. He is extremely active in the amateur rocket community, serving as an officer in both the Huntsville Area Rocketry Association (HARA) and the Music City Missile Club (MC2).  His love of model rocketry has grown into the area of High Power Rocketry, launching ever larger and heavier rockets.  Having earned his High Power Level 3 certification, Kepner has achieved the highest level of recognition in the amateur rocketry community. 

Additionally, he has earned a movie credit as a Rocketry Technical Advisor for the 2013 release Space Warriors.

Prior to employment with NASA MSFC, Kepner taught Physics, Rocketry, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, and Life Science at the Secondary Level in the greater Philadelphia, PA area. During this period he mentored 14 Team America Rocketry Challenge teams over a 5 year period with several teams competing in the National Finals. Kepner also mentored a NASA Student Launch Project rocketry team, a highly competitive year-long project where students build a high powered rocket carrying a scientific experiment to one mile altitude while operating as contractors for NASA.  Ultimately, this team earned the “Best Rocket” award.


Historic landing of Curiosity, NASA's new Mars Rover on Sunday, Aug. 5
View the NASA Control Room from the Oakley STEM Center.

The Oakley STEM Center was one of several sites across the world celebrating and participating in this historic landing. Curiosity at the STEM Center is presented in partnership with the Planetary Society’s Annual Planetfest in Pasadena, CA.

Curiosity: Could Mars Have Supported Life?

Experience NASA’s Newest Mars Rover “Curiosity” Landing on the Red Planet. Unlike previous rovers sent to Mars, Curiosity is a robot-chemist seeking evidence of past habitability on the Red Planet. Tennessee Tech’s Oakley STEM Center hosted a real-time viewing of the NASA Control Center coverage of the Curiosity landing: Sunday, August 5 starting at 10:30 p.m. to 12:45 a.m.Curiosity is to land at 12:31am central time (Monday).


 Kite Workshop for Kids & Families | December 19, 2011

The Oakley STEM Center is partnering with the American Kitefliers Association to offer a special workshop opportunity for kids, families and the community. Well-known Kite Specialist and Author Glenn Davison will be presenting.

Date: Monday, December 19

Morning schedule:
10:00 - 11:30am Kite Show for public with demonstrations and Q&A
11:30 -12pm Workshop "Miniature Kite Making and Flying" - Make & Take

Cost: $5 per family


Tuesday, June 21, 2011 from 6-9pm
Marc Robinson

Experience the wonder and majesty of the night sky on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! Explore the mysteries of space, including seasons, planets, and more. As the night darkens we will move outside to observe the stars by telescope, hoping to answer our questions about the final frontier.

Meet the Author - June Scobee Rodgers

Silver Linings: My Life Before and After Challenger 7


Putnam County K-12
Illustrated Poetry Contest: Energy is Everywhere
Chemists Celebrate Earth Day 2011 (CCED)

NASA Education Downlink: November 22, 2009

Did you know that the space station orbits at a speed of 17,500 mph? This was one of many questions answered by Captain Wilmore and mission specialists Leland Melvin and Nicole Stott on Sunday during the NASA Education Downlink event.

  1. Watch the WCTE broadcast online (30 minutes).
  2. Click here to watch a replay of the video coverage.