Club members met each week through October, building and painting their rockets. After a great deal of hard work ( and a little fun), all models were finally complete and ready to go. “How high will this thing fly?” “I hope my parachute opens!” The kids were eager to learn how successful their efforts had been. The date was set; “Launch Day” would be held November 5!!
On a beautiful fall afternoon, the club met for the last time in the field behind the school. Club leader Dan Huntley, prepared the launch site as the kids did a final check on their rockets. At 2 pm J.D. Blake students, staff, and parents gathered for the presentation. I never expected so many spectators!
Club members fired their rockets one by one and immediately the crowd was applauding and cheering. The odor of sulfur permeated the air, while students began counting down to “lift off” before each rocket was launched. Shrieks and laughter could be heard as some of the rockets took peculiar flight paths. It was an incredibly fun and exciting event.
Once the last rocket had landed, the judges began to deliberate. The results were: “Lightest Rocket”-Mac Camara; “Best Looking”-Alex Hildreth; “Highest Flying”-Nathan Cartier; “Best Landing”-John Nesteruk; and “Biggest Crash”-Ian Safford. All of the participants did an awesome job, and it was a pleasure to work with them.
Many thanks to the following who made this program possible: Dan Huntley, for all his time and effort in organizing and leading the program; The Friends of HPL for funding the project; Cody Hunter, for assisting Dan and the students each week; our Launch Day judges, Principal Wayne VanGorden and Superintendent Jo Ellen Divoll. I’d also like to thank school secretary Leah Twombly for her help with getting the kids to the library each week.
At the end of the launch, Dan mentioned that next time we’ll need additional items to improve on the rockets. Hmm, next time? Watch for details this spring!