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RISE Center at the American University of Kuwait Hosts a Talk on Rocket Science 101

The Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences and Engineering (RISE) at the American University of Kuwait held a talk entitled, "Rocket Science 101: Fire Arrows, Fireworks, and Fire Planets" by Jake Gordon, a rocket scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who has also researched atmospheric science for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and analyzed high speed particle physics at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Commencing with welcoming remarks from RISE Director Dr. Amir Zeid, the lecture shed light on the history of rockets, from their first conception in 400 BCE at the hands of the ancient Greeks to their development in Chinese and Korean warfare, to the invention of the world's first torpedo by Hasan al-Rammah, finally ending in the present day with how they allow humans to travel into space. Mr. Gordon emphasized throughout the talk the sense of wonder and excitement that rocket science holds over its students, explaining his own background and why he was drawn to the field. He then broke down the physics of a rocket into pieces-the various parts and systems that comprise a modern rocket and allow it to make a controlled accent. In doing so, he also touched on Isaac Newton's three laws of motion, giving students simple and accurate explanations for some of the most complicated technology ever created.

Mr. Gordon ended his talk on a surprising note by teaching those present how to make their own miniature rockets at home with only aluminum foil, a box of matches, and a bamboo stick. He quickly walked listeners through the basics, letting them see one he had made that morning, and passed out instructions to follow at home-which can also be found online. Mr. Gordon finished on a cautionary note by asking his new students of rocket science to be careful with their toys, emphasizing that although the rockets they were making were small, you always have to be careful when dealing with such technology.

Rocket Science 101 was a fun, exciting look at how a real rocket scientist thinks and works, suggesting that even the world's best researchers in the field are still humbled by their work. Mr. Gordon's passion was evident while showing videos of space shuttle launches and jet pack flights to the audience, reaffirming that such feats are not out of reach for hardworking students, and proving that even rocket science can be simply explained by an excellent speaker.

The AUK Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE) serves as AUK's primary source for multidisciplinary research and development (R&D) activities. The center employs a holistic approach to R&D by integrating academic disciplines, and forging connections between local & international innovators, academia & industry, and technology & society.

Mr. Gordon during his lecture

Mr. Gordon during his lecture

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 14th February 2018

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