Praxis takes an active role in the communities in which we operate. We strive to be a good corporate citizen by contributing our energies and resources to helping our local communities to be a better place to live. Our philosophy of giving back to the community is demonstrated through localized and long-term grass roots initiatives that represent a true commitment to community outreach. Supporting educational programs specializing in Science and Technology is our way of helping local students and teachers. Whether it's providing financial support, donating computer equipment, providing summer internships, or taking the time to teach classes, Praxis and our employees are there to help.
The CanSat program gives students hands-on experience with a simulated spacecraft project. CanSat is a simulation of a real space vehicle; it includes most of the subsystems found on a real spacecraft, and it performs a specific mission while collecting mission data. Typical datasets include atmospheric measurements, video capture, photography, communications, and navigation. Although similar efforts exist for other fields of engineering (i.e., robots, radio-control airplanes, racing cars, etc.), most space-related educational projects are paper designs. While these are worthwhile, they do not give students the satisfaction of being involved with the end-to-end life cycle of a complex engineering project, from conceptual design through integration and test, actual operation of the system, and post-mission summary and debrief. The CanSat program fulfills that need.
Students are free to design their CanSat in whatever way they think is best. All it has to do is perform the specific mission, collect the required data, and fit in a 12-ounce soda can. The students build, launch, and operate their CanSat, then analyze the collected data. Awards are given for the CanSat that best fulfills the mission requirements.
Praxis has supported the CanSat program for the past seven years.
The Federation of Galaxy Explorers (FOGE), a non-profit educational organization, hosts the CanSat summer camp each year. Praxis provides monetary and in-kind support for the launch of the CanSats on high-power model rockets.
After School Aerospace Program
For several years, Praxis has supported the After School Aerospace Program, which is also hosted by FOGE. The program works with students to design and build rockets for competitions and to learn other aerospace concepts. A typical competition hosted by this group includes the Sounding Rocket Project, a solid-fuel model rocket developed, built, and launched by the students.
FOGE has sent several teams to the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world’s largest rocket contest. This contest encourages student interest in science and technology in order to encourage careers in aerospace. Several Praxis-sponsored FOGE teams have placed in this contest.
In 2010, a FOGE TARC Team won a spot at the NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI). This initiative involves middle and high-school students in designing, building, and testing reusable rockets with associated scientific payloads. This unique hands-on experience allows students to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their designs and gives previously abstract concepts tangibility. Praxis will help sponsor this team to go to the competition, held in Huntsville, Al.