How to get people to join club

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nickrulercreator

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Hi! I was finally able to get my rocketry club approved by my high school (3 years of trying, totally worth it). Now I need to recruit a few members. My school has an activity fair every year which gives people a chance to look at the club or activity options here, but I'd like to have like 2 other members before the fair (which is in like 2-3 weeks). I am shy and not good at asking people stuff like this because I have constant lingering anxiety that they'll judge me for this (which some probably will, I can guarantee). I know none of my close friends are really into rocketry, and I have asked 3 other people over email (one replied saying he has a packed schedule but will see if he can, the other two didn't reply yet, but are friends of mine).

The students in my grade (Junior) aren't too "into" space or rockets, as far as I know, and I am not sure how many people would be willing to join. I have a few tight friends (those I will hang out with after school), and a few more less-tight ones (like people I talk to and stuff but probably won't ever hang out with after school or whatever), but that's it, and most of those people aren't nerds like I am, though those 3 that I asked are.

What do I do? I'm thinking about putting a flyer or two up in my school with my school email saying that if they're interested they should email me (not the exact words but that is basically what it will say), but I feel like I'll be judged. I know I should just grow a set and get out and ask, because hey, what do I have left to lose amirite.

Anyway, any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

Bat-mite

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Offer the hottest girl in school $20 to go around telling people she joined the rocketry club. You'll have 50 guys show up at the first meeting.

Seriously, though, if you are uncomfortable talking to people about it, then your chances are not very high in getting them interested. They will need to see how enthusiastic you are, and then you hope some of that will rub off.
 

Nytrunner

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Half joking: Try starting with "Do you want to have a blast!?"

I used to be pretty shy myself as a kid and can tell you that putting yourself out there will probably be uncomfortable at first. Disinterest and No's will be part of the result, but I'm willing to bet there may be a few with interest that you'd never imagine. How's this for a challenge: Ask your teachers if you can present to your classes about the club and give a pitch on what makes it both Fun(!) and educational. Maybe collect some videos of Lo/Mid/Hi power rocket launches, or bring a visual aid (you kids know how to use powerpoint from birth these days right?)

This could be a really good leadership opportunity, and that never hurts when it comes time for jobs or college apps. (and personal growth too)
 

dr wogz

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Knowing what yo're dealing with, I understand and sympathize.

Ask your science & math teacher(s) for a hand in getting people interested. Chances are they see more students, and have an idea of who would be interested in such a venture. And, they may also help 'talk it up' one day.

Put an ad in the local school paper (assuming you have one)
Put an ad up at the local public library.. they usually have a community board.
Put up a poster or two at school to talk up the hobby, but don't be simple about it. Make it "cool sounding" like "Solid fuel test vehicle unveiling - tomorrow - back parking lot" (or where ever you launch from) skew the phrase / term "rocket launch" into something death-defying and enticing.. (but stay away form words like "missile launch" or "explosive"..
Put an ad up at the local hobby shop (ask first!), and ask the store owner about 'rocket sales'.. you might find more than you thought!
 

XolveJohn

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Simple. Do a demo launch! That will bring out the curious.

Then TALK TO THEM. Explain how rockets can help you become an astronaut. When I used to go to the old
Pittsburgh conventions, and fly there, a guy named Jay Apt was around. He wound up on the ISS.

I think there are others. Jim Barrowman was a famous math whiz that worked on Apollo trajectories. Became an officer in the NAR.
 

DavidMcCann

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At the fair, post a few photos of rockets flying, take a couple models in (be aware they'll likely be handled by buffoons)

If possible, have a laptop playing a few flight videos of rockets flying.

If you need photos or video, I've got some you can use, and I'm sure others here will share as well.


As for the rejection, It's hard. But it's something you need to grow a thick skin in general on. Don't let it get you down, and get in the way of your plans and goals.
 

boatgeek

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This is super hard. Many of us who are into rocketry are also massive introverts. Some suggestions:

Bring a rocket if you can. Motors are good too, including the biggest motor/casing you have.
Bring some pictures of large rockets on massive motors. Anything with a longer flame than rocket is great.
Tell people that composite fuel is the same stuff that was in the Space Shuttle side boosters.
Ask people if they want to hear more about the club, but don't be surprised if they say no. Asking them if they want info is less of a commitment for them than asking them to join, so they are more likely to say yes.
Don't get too technical. If you mention Barrowman, you've gone too far. :) Your pitch is basically that you build and launch rockets and have a great time doing it. Sell the teenagers on the fire aspect.
Pause every couple of sentences to see if they have a question or just want to excuse themselves. Pause sooner if they're looking everywhere but at you or your rocket

Does your club meet at a specific day or time? If so, a poster around the school (get permission from the office first!) with a rocket launch picture and the day/time/place would be great. Draw a map so the new kids can find where you meet. Most important, welcome people when they come to the club, ask them what rocketry experience they have, and ask them what they want to do. Food/fudge at meetings never hurts, either. :)
 

michigander

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My thoughts are getting a science teacher on board extra credit or something , I can guarantee you aren't the only rocketeer at school just gotta find them.
 

Crash-n-Burn

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I agree with just doing a launch at your school field. Find a teacher to get involved with the launch so that you have supervised support. No matter how cool the kids think they are, a rocket will get them to stop and watch for a moment. Hopefully a few will be interested enough to approach you.

You cannot force it though. If kids don't want to join you may just have to let it go.
 

Zeus-cat

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Be ready for most people to say no. And be ready with a polite way of saying thank you and that you understand that they are not interested. Part of getting over being shy (I was at your age and still am shy around people I don't know well), is putting yourself out there and accepting that some/many/most/nearly everyone may not share your same interests. But if you don't tell people the few that do share that interest won't know about it. So what if they think you are a nerd. Who cares?

The vast majority of people you know in high school are people you will almost never see again. I just went to my 40th high school reunion; this was my first reunion. I hadn't seen 95% of these people in 40 years. I barely remembered most of them. They barely remembered me. We talked, we laughed, we caught up a little. No one remembered who did what or said what in school. What I am saying is don't worry about the rejection, look forward to those who say yes.
 

muddymooose

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Have a launch in the athletic fields at a time when people happen to be nearby. Maybe when people are arriving in the morning, when they're leaving in the afternoon, during lunch, while gym class it outside nearby, etc. Make sure to launch the biggest, heaviest, thrustiest stuff with the most spectacular propellants. People will notice and start asking questions.
 

muddymooose

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Simple. Do a demo launch! That will bring out the curious.

Then TALK TO THEM. Explain how rockets can help you become an astronaut.
I agree about the demo launch (see above), but telling them "you too can be an astronaut" may be kind of dated. Instead maybe tell them "you too can be an Elon Musk landing a rocket vertically under thrust on the deck of a moving ship."
 

rharshberger

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+1 getting a science teacher involved, the high school rocketry club (aka the Science Club) I was part of many years ago was sponsored by the Chemistry and Physics teacher. Yeah, I even had to pull out my old yearbook from 26 years ago and get a flashback from this thread!
 

Rockiteer

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On a lark tap in to the local Boy Scout council and offer to support their Space Exploration merit badge program and touch bases with your JROTC unit (if you have one) those guys (and gals) love rockets. Get the industrial arts/shop class folks involved; electronics/electricity, automotive body painting, woodworking and mechanical drawing dovetail nicely with model rocketry. Also coordinate with any of the Junior High (I think their called Middle Schools these days) science and shop teachers along with any science clubs at that level. Like the idea about extra credit for science/physics classes. Solicit assistance from the schools guidance counselor... if there is anyone who knows who the potential rocketeers are they most certainly will. At the next PTA meeting, offer up a short three to five minute infomercial about model rocketry to the parents; get them involved to encourage their children to participate. Somehow you have to create an atmosphere where the kids who are genuinely interested will come out of their shells and not be intimidated by the school yard jerks who'll ridicule and taunt them as geeks and nerds. Tie in computers somehow with rocket simulator programs and gps apps for smartphones. Maybe find a way to tie into the popular television sitcom "Big Bang Theory"... Just a thought. Concur with the idea about launching the biggest, baddest, most colorful, loudest, brightest and smokiest rocket during gym class, recess or lunch period. Reach for the stars and beyond.


https://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Space_Exploration
 

OverTheTop

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Demo launch on a small field near or at the school is a great way of showing what it is about. Get a lend of one of the HPR rockets off a local Tripoli or NAR and have it on display as well. That generates a lot of interest, showing that you can scale things up as you progress.

My daughter did an information talk and demo flight in front of about half her school in Year 5, and also got her Space Badge in Girl Guides by doing a launch with her troop.

Make sure you get some help to assist and boost your confidence. Good on you for having a go at this!
 

GuyNoir

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When I used to go to the old
Pittsburgh conventions, and fly there, a guy named Jay Apt was around. He wound up on the ISS.
Actually, Jay flew a mission to Mir and picked up Shannon Lucid.

I think there are others. Jim Barrowman was a famous math whiz that worked on Apollo trajectories. Became an officer in the NAR.
Jim worked on sounding rocket trajectories; never heard him say he worked on Apollo. Would be interesting to hear any stories he has if he did!
 

shreadvector

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can't_Buy_Me_Love_(film)

Activity fair with a table displaying TARC info and handouts, TARC videos, TARC rockets and big sign that says "$100,000.00 ROCKET CONTEST - PLUS WINNING TEAM GETS A TRIP TO EUROPE".

Offer the hottest girl in school $20 to go around telling people she joined the rocketry club. You'll have 50 guys show up at the first meeting.

Seriously, though, if you are uncomfortable talking to people about it, then your chances are not very high in getting them interested. They will need to see how enthusiastic you are, and then you hope some of that will rub off.
 

dr wogz

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Ask one of your science teacher's a rocket flight question:
If I have a 8oz rocket with an average thrust of 8 newtons for .5 seconds, how high will it go?
(don't quote me numbers, I'm picking them out of the air here! use a simple Estes kit and an A8-3 or B6-4..)
Hopefully the class will chime in with ideas, and hopefully the teacher will help work out the trajectory.

Then tell him that we can prove it next class (and arrange for a rocket launch with the rocket & motor used in the class example..)

Speak to the teacher first, so that you're both on board with the class discussion & problem solving, and then the actual "test".. he might want to apply it to his / her other classes..
 

Rockiteer

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Ask one of your science teacher's a rocket flight question:
If I have a 8oz rocket with an average thrust of 8 newtons for .5 seconds, how high will it go?
(don't quote me numbers, I'm picking them out of the air here! use a simple Estes kit and an A8-3 or B6-4..)
Hopefully the class will chime in with ideas, and hopefully the teacher will help work out the trajectory.

Then tell him that we can prove it next class (and arrange for a rocket launch with the rocket & motor used in the class example..)

Speak to the teacher first, so that you're both on board with the class discussion & problem solving, and then the actual "test".. he might want to apply it to his / her other classes..
Great idea Doctor! I like it.
 

Nytrunner

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Ask one of your science teacher's a rocket flight question:
If I have a 8oz rocket with an average thrust of 8 newtons for .5 seconds, how high will it go?
(don't quote me numbers, I'm picking them out of the air here! use a simple Estes kit and an A8-3 or B6-4..)
Hopefully the class will chime in with ideas, and hopefully the teacher will help work out the trajectory.

Then tell him that we can prove it next class (and arrange for a rocket launch with the rocket & motor used in the class example..)

Speak to the teacher first, so that you're both on board with the class discussion & problem solving, and then the actual "test".. he might want to apply it to his / her other classes..

Oh no don't use an A8! Then you'll have to explain and why the A8 only has 3 Newtons avg. thrust.....and that requires arcane model rocket history knowledge
 

Bat-mite

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If anyone laughs at you and calls you a nerd, you can reply: "Okay, suit yourself. But when I'm designing thrusters for NASA and you're working at McDonald's, don't expect me to come buy a burger from you."
 

dr wogz

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Oh no don't use an A8! Then you'll have to explain and why the A8 only has 3 Newtons avg. thrust.....and that requires arcane model rocket history knowledge
I said don't quote me numbers!! :D

No, seriously though, pick something that's realistic and easy to launch in a school soccer / foot ball field..

The way the example is explained in the Model rocketry handbook is what I'm getting at.. "How high will it go"
 
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