Teaching Kids that Science Can be Fun

STEM and STEAM. Yeah. We do that.


This is not a complete list of education outreach activities that HAL5 has lead or participated in. If you see any error or missing entries, please .

Suitcase Hybrid Rocket

Table Top Demonstration of Hybrid Rocket


The suitcase hybrid is not a new idea to HAL5. A friend and long time HAL5 member, Tim Pickens, built a couple of these some years ago for show and tell around Huntsville. HAL5 borrowed the suitcase hybrid frequently as part of education outreach tool. A decision was made in 2010 for HAL5 to build our own version with some modifications. Today, we pull out the suitecase several times a year to do demonstration of how does a hybrid rocket works. In the suitcase hybrid, the fuel is clear acrylic rod, and the oxidizer is nitrous oxide. The end result is that you can see the burning of the fuel grain though the clear plastic that gives a very bright glow. Another benefit of the suitcase hybrid is that we also have a steel motor case that we can insert different hybrid fuel grains in it like asphalt, wood, wax and even summer sausage.

Make-N-Launch Paper Air Rockets

Watch Out for Falling Rockets!


Who doesn't love rockets? When HAL5 re-started its involvement with VBAS Astronomy Day in 2005, we talked about what kind of hands on space activities that the kids will love. Model rockets are definitely cool, but they can get expensive if we wants to do a hundred kids in a day, and it can be a bit dangerous when dealing with solid propellant. Soda bottle water rockets are wet and fun, but muddy specially if we do it in a grass field. We ended up adopting the paper air rocket concept that several folks and organizations out there uses.

The rocket is made of paper, glue, candy foil cups, and tape. The launcher is a basic compressed air storage/delivery mechanism that is made up of pressure rated PVC tubes and sprinkler solenoid valve. The system is designed not to shoot the rocket very high, maybe 150 feet or so depending on the paper rocket and amount of air We have performed the make-n-launch paper air rockets at local elementary schools and Astronomy Day. Every couple of years, we would rebuild new launcher and makes tweaks to the electronic control mechanisms. Today, the launcher has a cool control box that allows the launch director to monitor the amount of air pressure in the system via digital pressure gauge and the ability to fill and drain the system remotely.

Panoply Arts Festival

STEAM Ahead!


To be added

VABS Astronomy Day

Outreach at a site built by the von Braun Team


To be added

Pin the Payload on International Space Station

Can you dock to the ISS blindfolded?


Pin the Payload on the International Space Station (ISS) game is a HAL5 education outreach activity. The purpose of the game is to educate the players on the main facts about the ISS, its major international payloads (or modules) and their locations on the ISS. The game was designed by HAL5 using images provided by NASA. [ Learn More ]


Great While Lasted


HAL5 participated in the 2014 and 2105 Huntsville STEAMFest held at Lowe Mill. In the inaugural STEAMFest (April 12, 2014), HAL5 demonstrated Dynetic's hydrogen and oxygen thruster that was designed for the Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable space station, and two types suitcase hybrid rockets (one from Dynetic and one from HAL5). In 2015, we brought in our Martian popsicle sticks catapult activity that we used in the previous year's Panoply Arts Festival. [ Learn More ]