1st May 2010, 05:30 PM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado USA — To our readers: This is the 11th in a series of profiles about 20 area high school seniors honored in The Gazette’s 19th-annual Best and Brightest program. Eric James’ passion sparked when he sent his first model rocket soaring into the sky. He was about 7 years old. “I was amazed at how something as simple as a cardboard tube with three wooden fins and a plastic nose cone could fly so effortlessly,” he said. “It slipped silently through the air as it went higher and higher.” He soon got another rocket kit. He’s since built hundreds of rockets, some from scratch and others from kits. They take from a few hours to about a month to build, and have ranged from 4 inches to 10 feet in size. He and his dad have flown every one of them.