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Old 05-16-2017, 07:01 PM
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Default School Rocket Day 2017

It's been a long time since I've flown rockets. So long that I've forgotten how to get good rocket photos. My son is grown, married, and working for Lockheed. My daughter just graduated high school this weekend. Today may have been her last day as my rocket day LCO.

We flew a bunch of Generic E2X rockets on A8-5 motors. Some were pretty rough, as can be noted in the second photo with the motor hanging half way out. That's as far as I could get it inserted due to a ton of glue in the motor mount. It flew straight and true anyway.








After all the kids' rockets, we flew six demos. First was Katie's #2 Pencil on a B4-4. It flew straight and true and tested the mid level winds for us.



Next up was Katie's Estes Alien Green Crayon rocket on a C6-5 to test the winds just above what the #2 Pencil achieved.



We then launched my old Silver Comet on a D12-5, testing even higher wind levels for the next three rockets.

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Old 05-16-2017, 07:02 PM
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Next was my old Big Bertha that I can't lose or destroy...well completely destroy. It has experienced a couple CATO's over the decades. It went up on a C6-5 and came back on a 12" chute. It landed on the school roof, but was undamaged.





Next up was the high flight of the day. This is a rocket made of junk E2X fin cans and a length of aluminized tubing. It went up on a B6-0 to C6-7 combination and recovered on an 8 ft crepe streamer. I used a B6-0 booster for two reasons. I wanted it to stage low enough that the kids could see it well...and I didn't have any C6-0 motors.





Last was Katie's Mean Machine painted in her favorite shade of orange.





Last but not least is Katie. She graduated top 5 and plans to follow Kody to Tennessee Tech and major in engineering.

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Old 05-17-2017, 10:07 AM
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On this school rocket day - what grade were the kids in who built the Generic E2X rockets ? Do you volunteer to go in the class for intros and guidelines or does the teacher do all of that. And last how did you get involved with this project - do you do it every year ?

Sorry for all the questions but my wife is a Teacher and really liked the idea of this thread.

It looks to have been a great day for you and your daughter and all the kids.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:48 AM
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I teach P.E. there in addition to working for the fire dept. and have been doing rockets with them for about 25 years. The kids are in 3rd grade and don't come close to having the skills needed to build the rockets by themselves because they only have Playstation dexterity. I teach the teachers and they do the program in class with the kids. We used to have an extremely high misfire rate, so I started prepping all motors with igniters myself and inserting them in the rockets just before we fly. Katie and I also do a quick check to make sure they haven't jammed on the nose cone with shock cord hanging out, and make sure they don't bind on the rod. We connect leads. Otherwise, it would take all day with all the misfires.

We used to have a technology class in 8th grade back when I taught 8th grade science. I helped the technology teacher set up the module that included rockets. They built and flew Alpha III's. The technology teacher switched to Kleenex to save money without me knowing about it. By the time they called me out of my class and I got the fire out, half of the football field had burned. Needless to say, she used real wadding after that.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:09 PM
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I used to do my kid's elementary school 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes science class rocket shoots for about 11 years, the last time in 2010. The then science teacher retired that year and the new one had absolutely no interest in doing rockets.

For the first three years, I got Alphas for them to build, then as you noted, the building skills started falling off, so after that I used Alpha III's or the Quest Bright Hawks. All launched on A8-3/5 engines. After the first time I did the same on motor prep to reduce misfires. I also had the measure the altitude using triangulation and tried to show them how much higher you could go if you were careful building the rocket by launching one I had built. I would take an hour a day off work to go in and teach them about rocketry for two weeks prior to launch and supervise the building. It was a lot of fun, and I made a few converts, some who are still flying rockets.

I do the same for the local Scout troop for the Space Exploration MB. I still make them do the original Alpha, but it now takes longer to get it built. I started noticing the lack of fine motor control in their hands about 2008 when the new scouts were so clumsy with knives and knots. The reason why finally hit me later that year as I had the boys sign a "Thank You" card for a generous sponsor. ALL the new kids could not sign their name in cursive, all of them did their names in block printing. ALL of them.

I asked one why he did not sign it in cursive and he asked me "What is cursive writing?".

Without the training in cursive writing, most of the kids had lousy fine motor control in their fingers. The only ones, very few, who did were ones whose parents made them practice cursive writing and learn to use tools. I alter asked one Mom who was an elementary school teacher about this, and she told me they stopped teaching cursive writing as the geniuses running the schools considered it archaic and unnecessary. These morons were the same ones who whined about what they called the "Drill and Kill" approach to learning. They also did not make them learn mental arithmetic, memorizing the multiplication tables, etc.

This was the local public schools in Illinoisy. Now the Catholic/private ones are almost as bad due to pressure from the state educrats and new college trained teachers.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:12 PM
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My local school system still does rocketry in the 8th grade.
I was building (and doing a good job) Skill-Level 3 and 4 rockets (Nike Ajax, Honest John, 1284 Space Shuttle) at age 8 in 1978. At that age I wielded #1 and #6 X-Acto knives with precision.
These kids nowadays have next to zilch for mechanical dexterity other than with a video game controller.
I grew up in the FIRST generation of arcade Video Games and spent many hours in arcades but that was not my ONLY activity. I still enjoy vintage video games/pinball and have vintage full-sized Galaga and Centipede video games along with a Williams F-14 Tomcat pinball in my living room.
Video games are fun but only PART of balanced hobby activities.
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:10 PM
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Thank you for all the replies to my question. My Wife has been wanting to incorporate a rocket program in with her students. She got hooked into the hobby herself as a teen in the early 80's.
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