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Exploration Generation

Rocketry-Themed Lesson Plans, Curriculum Storylines & Professional Learning


Ignite imagination and inspire a new space-age generation

Exploration Generation (ExGen) provides K-12 educators with engaging, classroom-ready lessons and resources to help immerse students in real-life applications of STEM while exploring various concepts in aerospace, engineering, and rocketry.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Estes Education, and NSTA launched ExGen to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and bring high-quality, research-based aerospace education to classrooms nationwide.


Sponsored by:

AIAA logo

ESTES logo


web seminar
FREE Web Seminar • November 9

Exploration Generation: Sensemaking in Rocketry

This web seminar will introduce teachers to the Exploration Generation Middle School Playlist and Unit Plan. These instructional materials provide equitable STEM experiences to students and increase educator confidence in teaching rocketry. Explore concepts in forces and motion, chemical reactions, and other physics and chemistry topics.


Free Resources

Model Rocket Safety Storyline Unit • Middle School



Lesson Plan 2

How does a model rocket lift off the ground?

Time: Two 50-minute class periods

Lesson Plan 3

What force is pushing the model rocket up?

Time: Two 50-minute class periods

Lesson Plan 4

How is energy transferred to the gas particles during ignition?

Time: Two 50-minute class periods

Lesson Plan 6

How can we plan a safe model rocket launch and landing?

Time: Three 50-minute class periods

Lesson Plan 7

How can we improve our Model Rocket Checklist?

Time: Two 50-minute class periods


Model Rocketry Forces Playlist • Middle School



Lesson Plan 1

How does a rocket's recovery system deploy?

Time: Two 50-minute class periods

Lesson Plan 2

How can we plan a rocket launch for successful recovery system deployment?

Time: Two 50-minute class periods




Rocketry Basics and Safety

The National Association of Rocketry’s Safety Code

Over 500 million model rockets have been launched since the hobby’s founding. The National Association of Rocketry’s Safety Code procedures have created safe launch experiences for students, teachers, and hobbyists alike.

New to Rocketry

Whether you’re a rocketry expert or a beginner, reviewing the basics is always a great place to start.




Funding your next rocketry experience in your class may be a concern.

Find a Grant

About the Sponsor Organizations

AIAA logo

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. AIAA supports students from classroom to career, as it continues shaping the future of aerospace. Continuing this progress depends on the exchange of ideas – and AlAA provides the environment where educators and innovators can come together and grow the ideas that will one day change the world. Because of our commitment to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, your AlAA Educator Associate membership is FREE. For more information, visit or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

ESTES logo

Estes Industries was founded in 1958 by Vern and Gleda Estes and found a home soon after in Penrose, Colorado (the model rocket capital of the world). Through more than six decades of hard work and innovation, Estes has grown to be the leading manufacturer of model rocket engines, kits and accessories. As of April 2018, Estes Industries is once again a family-run business, committed to enabling safe, successful flights for customers everywhere.

Estes is committed to delivering interdisciplinary STEM resources and tools to educators that give them the skills and confidence necessary to elevate learning. Estes has been a leader in STEM education for 63 years, reaching 500,000 students annually.

To learn more about Estes Education please visit


More Information

Press Release

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