GLENDORA, Calif. – Nearly 30 elementary- and middle-school students from the Glendora Unified School District were given hands-on science lessons that included building model rockets, catapults and projectiles during a recent Citrus College RISE Team’s Science and Technology Day fundraiser.

Composed of 22 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students, the Citrus College Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) team successfully raised close to $2,000 to help fund its current and future research and outreach efforts.

“I am proud of the success of our RISE students and their role in helping to establish Citrus College as a STEM-rich institution that not only promotes the sciences on campus, but also encourages our community’s K-12 students to be creative learners, embrace physics and have fun at the same time,” said Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Ph.D.

The RISE program’s three interdisciplinary groups include the Rocket Owls, who are building a rocket for the NASA Student Launch competition in April; the Space Owls, who are building an energy-efficient vehicle for the Shell Eco-marathon competition in May; and the CAPE Owls, who are launching a weather balloon into the Alaskan atmosphere to study sounds emitted by the aurora borealis in April.

“Several parents expressed their gratitude for having this opportunity to expose their children to fun and creative science activities so close to where they live,” said program adviser and physics instructor Lucia Riderer. “Other parents congratulated us for having exceptional college students, who are not only smart, but able to communicate so well and interact with the children effectively.”

Each participant had a college student to work with throughout the day-long event, where their interests in science were sparked through activities such as rocket launching, racing miniature go-karts powered by mouse-trap springs and building structures for an egg-drop competition.

Created last spring, each team within RISE works independently on STEM-based research projects and competes in intercollegiate national and international competitions, as well as conducts monthly outreach activities to local K-8 schools.

“These young students are the world’s future engineers, scientists and innovators, and I am delighted that our incredibly gifted RISE students are helping to shape a new generation,” said Dr. Patricia A. Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees.

An overview video of the Feb. 8 event can be viewed at

Photo Caption RISEFundraiser: Citrus College STEM students collaborate with local K-12 students from Glendora Unified during a hands-on science event that included building model rockets, catapults and
projectiles on Feb. 8, 2014. The team successfully raised close to $2,000 to help fund its current and future research and outreach efforts.