Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday - July 26

Rocket Blast Off! There is a lot that goes into the making of a rocket - even those that can be made in one day. Greg Burnham led the campers through the thought and design process of what needs to be considered when building a rocket. Several physics and mathematics lessons were included and we were able to tell right off who of the group doesn't claim math to be their favorite subject. Due to the various grade levels, the math proved to be a challenge but with the help of counselors everyone made it through it.

After all the calculations were made, it was time for building. Each camper received a motor housing, body tube, balsa wood for fins, string, streamer, and a nose cone. Step by step the campers assembled their rockets. Gluing the fins on the body tube takes patience and precision in placement. Our future engineers were already problem-solving as one crew came up with the idea of stacking two markers together in an empty water bottle extending past the opening and then putting the end of the body tube over the end markers. This provided an elevated platform to hold their rocket while gluing the fins and not having to lay the rocket down to dry.

After dinner, we all went out to Urbanovsky Park to the launch pad Mr. Burnham had set up to blast off the rockets. The counselors helped each camper insert their motor and ignition wiring and then placed their rocket on the launch pad. With an announcement of the camper and their rocket's name, the camper pushed the launch button and watched in excitement as their rocket hopefully blasted away.  I was very excited to see the first one shoot high in the sky and to watch the camper's expressions as the cone popped off and the streamer shot out and the rocket drifted in the wind to the ground.

We had a ground crew that tried to locate the rockets when they landed as the wind proved to be a force in where the rocket would end up. I believe most were recovered; however, the recreation center roof is currently home for a few of them. Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties, there was a handful that was not able to blast off their rockets before it became too dark to see them. All and all I think the campers had a great time learning how to make rockets and see their handy work high in the sky.

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