Monday, April 20, 2009
Sonoran Science Academy Rocket Class
From January through March 2009, 3rd grade students at Sonoran Science Academy (http://sonoranacademy.org) in Tucson, Arizona, worked hard on building some pretty neat two stage rockets. The kit they built was the Estes Loadstar. This project was made possible by generous donations from several parents, relatives and community members.
The students were taught about various aspects of rocketry as the projects progressed. These kits were quite challenging, but the students did a great job that their parents should be very proud of.
It's really amazing what 3rd graders can do if given the opportunity. Ask any of these students what "apogee" is or other questions related to their rockets or rocket flight and you will probably be surprizes how mcuh they know.
It was really neat to watch them work so intense on their rockets. It's amazing what they can learn when they are having fun.
Parents got involved and also learned some things. Some have also continued on past our introductory class and are now travelling to other rocket lauches and participating in this fun eductaional hobby.
They even learned to keep their project pieces nice and organized. this helped since there were 26 of the exact same kit...
They felt accomplishment each step of the way...
There were even some whacky NASA tattoos and other prizes for those who answered the quizes fastest.
They also learned that it can be difficult to get those pesky fins to stick and stay in place on the body tubes. They learned a couple tricks and to let the glue "cure" for a little while...
Sometimes it takes even more patience... But we all like virtues, right?
We took a couple shortcuts and used a hot glue gun to get the standoffs and launch lugs attached quickly. This was the first time I had used the hot glue gun on rockets. They all actually held up for multiple flights. Sure makes a quick way to repair things quick. I wouldn't want to use it on mid or high powereed rockets, but it enabled us to get some students' rockets finished and launched that otherwise would not have had time to dry.
Brenda did a great job making sure that the launch lugs all lined up after they were attached.
Packing fireproof wadding and parachutes for the much anticipated maiden launches.
They all finished their rockets in time for the first schedules launch on March 13, 2009. I will soon post pictures from their first day at the launch site.