HPU Student Wins Award At Meeting For American Association Of Physics Teachers

Posted on May 27, 2010.

HIGH POINT, N.C., May 27, 2010 ? Elizabeth (Libby) Messina, a rising senior majoring in chemistry from Leesburg, Va., recently received the award for Best Undergraduate Student Paper at the 2010 Spring Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

She received the award for her poster, “Accounting for Non-Constant Thrust in a Model Rocket Simulator.” The poster details model rocket simulators, which usually account for the thrust of the engine by assuming it is constant. However, Messina says in the reality, the force is not constant.

“The purpose of the project was to determine the thrust curves of various Estes model rocket engines by measuring the thrust versus time and fitting an eight-parameter function to the data,” explains Messina, who is in the Honors Program at HPU. “The best-fit functions were used in a rocket simulator developed with Easy Java Simulations (EJS).”

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at or on Twitter at

Chris Dudley

Vice President for Administration


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