Teach your 10-yr-old some math. It's finally where you can say, "Look! I can figure out how high this rocket is going to go by using math!" Stick a protractor on a piece of wood with a sighting straw and a string w/ a weight on it. There's your home-made altitrack.
Forgive me, I'm not making any assumptions here. What you are doing is measuring a certain distance from the launch pad, and then when the rocket is launched, measuring the angle that the string indicates when the rocket reaches its highest point.
The formula you use to calculate the height is:
tangent(angle) = distance to launch pad / vertical dist. travelled
vertical distance = tangent(angle) X distance to launch pad
Once you have the angle, you can use a calculator to find the tangent value, multiply by distance to launch pad, and there you go!
This can be used to measure the height of your house, a flag pole, or a tall building as well. PLEASE! Do this as a favor to your child.
My Scout Troop-341 used a 3 station altiscope tracking system for about 6 years, until I built a set of Theodolite Trackers.
Using the 3 station method the Troop tracking and recorded alsom 200 fight in a single weekend Mod-Roc Camporee, with tracking data (using the the math formulas) closeing within 5 to7%. Not bad at all for the little plastic Gizmos
Also a Home-schooling Dad! Great to see more and more of us taking our childrens education seriously!
Keep up the Great Work..
PS: Just to boost your confidence a little, My Youngest Daughter graduated with honors from college in 2002 with her BA and is now persuing her MA. NO social adjustment, study or independence problems at all!!!
My thoughts exactly. I needed a starting place. The Estes Altitrack is that place . Then as the kids progress I hope the light blub goes on ... or lead them in that direction to do the math I want to teach these kids to think for them selves and outside of the box. Some kids today just want to do things the easist way possible or let someone do there thinking for them. Can't see it myself. I plan on making the learning experience of Model Rocketry as much fun as possible .........