BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out kids learn best when doing something hands-on.

Mary Bubala learned that could actually lead to a student becoming a rocket scientist.

Students from three Baltimore City middle schools are competing in Rocket into Poly—a rocket launching competition at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

The students are all in the Ingenuity Project, which fast-tracks students who excel in math and science. They had to design and build rockets from scratch.

“I think it was very interesting, and I really enjoyed the project,” said Xavier Miles, eighth-grader at Mt. Royal.

“It was really fun to working together with the team and having to build it all in one hour,” said Gwendolyn Comfort, eighth-grader at Mt. Royal.

The goal is to see how far the rocket will travel, but NASA astronaut Don Thomas from Towson University says it’s also about learning to collaborate.

“They were working as a team, so these are groups of five or six. This is how engineers work in the real world. They don’t work by themselves,” Thomas said.

Students worked together for weeks leading up to Monday’s big launch.

“When you put air, the air pressure from the PSI launches the water out and the force from that pushes onto the ground and launches the rocket,” explained Jahkeem Whitle, eighth-grader at Hamilton.

He wasn’t sure if it was going to work, but the future physicist and his team gave it a go!

If you’d like to learn more about the nonprofit Ingenuity Project, click here.

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