The concept of Rocket Manufacturing was presented to the Rock Valley Community School Board in 2008. In 2013 the instructors of Rocket Manufacturing, along with the principal and superintendent, went to Eleva-Strum in Wisconsin,home of Cardinal Manufacturing. In December 2014, Rock Valley was one of the first five programs in Iowa to be recognized by the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council as a STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) model, receiving a $25,000 cost-matched award to help get Rocket Manufacturing started. Rocket Manufacturing classes began in the spring of 2015.
In the spring of 2015 students were exposed to equipment at local businesses. This included tours, job shadows, procedural development, and business presentations in house. A plan was developed to fill out shop with required machines and tools.
In the summer of 2015 Mr. Vander Velde job shadowed the industry process at Valley Machining for a six week period. He spent three days a week in each of the six departments. He and Mr. Weber also attended the CAPS summer huddle conference in Des Moines. In August of 2015, machines started to be moved into the new facility.
The first full school year of running Rocket Manufacturing will by the 2015-2016 school year. In this year we will become familiarized with equipment and business process. We will receiving help from local businesses on machine usage and procedures. The students will be taught simple tasks/jobs, such as welding. The goals of machines and tools needed to run Rocket Manufacturing will be finalized.
The 2016-2017 school year will be the second full year of running Rocket Manufacturing. We will begin to manufacture parts on a small scale with the help of local businesses. The application process for Rocket Manufacturing will be completed. NCC's equipment will arrive at our facility.
The 2017-2018 school year will be the first group of approved applicants. By this time we will need minimal help from local businesses, but we will still need help getting part jobs from businesses.
In the 2018-2019 school year Rocket Manufacturing will be run with minimal to no help from local businesses. We will continue partnerships with local businesses to help encourage students to enter the local workforce.
The goal for the 2018-2019 school year is to run Rocket Manufacturing on our own.