Quick Facts

  • Having missed several years of school due to tuberculosis, Robert Goddard was 22 years old when he enrolled at WPI and already balding, a fact that can be seen in his yearbook photos.
  • A popular, gregarious, straight-A student, Robert Goddard was respected and admired by his fellow WPI undergraduates, who voted him 'Brightest Student' in a yearbook poll. 
  • As an undergraduate at WPI, Robert Goddard was elected class secretary, vice president, and president, edited the yearbook, sang in the Glee Club, and composed a school song, Old Tech. 
  • For an English assignment at WPI, Robert Goddard envisioned a magnetically levitated train that could travel from Boston to New York in 10 minutes through an evacuated tube.
  • Some of Robert Goddard's earliest experiments with rockets occurred in the basement of WPI's Salisbury Laboratories, where, as an undergraduate, he measured the thrust of skyrockets.
  • Robert Goddard invented a method for stabilizing an airplane with a gyroscope while still a WPI student. He wrote an article about the idea that was published in Scientific American. 
  • While still a WPI student, Robert Goddard penned 'Possibility of Investigating Interplanetary Space,' an essay that was turned down by Scientific American and Popular Astronomy. 
  • After graduating from WPI, Robert Goddard was granted use of the tiny Magnetic Laboratory building on campus to conduct some of his early experiments with powder rockets. 
  • After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in general science from WPI, Robert Goddard taught at the Institute before pursuing graduate degrees at Clark University. 
  • WPI has remembered Robert Goddard with an academic building (Goddard Hall), a prestigious fellowship for graduate students, and the Goddard GigaPoP, a portal to Internet2. 

 

 
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