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Shade

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I was at my local school's open house. I was approached by one of the teachers to assist/run a school program for rocketry. In the spring they allow the kids to pick an activity to learn and develop. This year they want to add rocketry to that.

The group will be small, limited to 12 students (per activity). They kids are fourth and fifth graders so 9-11 years old. And I believe we will have 5-6 weeks to complete the rockets and fly them. The program meet for an hour every Friday.

Since I have alot of time to prep, here are some of the questions I have so far.

1. What is a good kits for kids to start with?
2. I know alot of vendors and hobby shops offer educational discounts, what are the better ones.
3. I would like to include some educational material with the program. But keep it at their level so teaching them Differential Equations and the Barrowman method, might be a little over reaching. Anybody have any good material? Links?
4. I will be emailing NAR and TRA for anything they may have also.
5. Anything else you have to add will be appreciated.

TIA,
Ron
 

Shade

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Jim Flis has a bunch of stuff.
 

MarkII

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FlisKits is an excellent choice! Give Jim a holler!

MarkII
 

jflis

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Ron,

As I mentioned in email, I will follow up my response with greater detail later today (getting ready for class... :) )

For Ron, and others interested in starting (or continuing) a school or youth group program, this information may help :)

FlisKits offers a large selection of beginner (Skill Level 1) kits with the easiest being the Thing-a-ma-Jig and Whatchamacallit. These kits feature our unique Jig-Tech fin technology for virtually fool proof fin attachment.

If you look over our beginner line you will see where each kit is designed to teach different aspects of kit construction, such as making recovery devices, working with balsawood, attaching fins (with and w/o a jig), cutting/shaping fins, etc

FlisKits also offers a model of a Cut-Away model rocket motor which makes for a great show-n-tell piece to explain how a motor works.

Our Educational web site provides information about our bulk pack program as well as a wealth of information about planning a rocketry program.

Lastly, as most of you here know, I am just a question away :)

I hope this helps.

I will be in touch Ron!
jim
 

troj

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FlisKits offers a large selection of beginner (Skill Level 1) kits with the easiest being the Thing-a-ma-Jig and Whatchamacallit. These kits feature our unique Jig-Tech fin technology for virtually fool proof fin attachment.
I can resoundingly endorse these two kits. Granted, my son isn't exactly "average," but my 5 year old was able to build these with very little help. Before his 5th birthday. (Pictures here)

-Kevin
 

Shade

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Thanks Jim!

I was amazed he answered my email last night after my first post here on this thread! I have already ordered a whatchamacallit and thingamajig to have my kids assemble as trial prior to the class.
 

Pippen

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Hi Shade,

I always start 4-Her's of that age on the Thing-a-ma-jig. As the others mentioned, the fins are foolproof and it makes a first time project so much easier. If you go with that kit the one place I've really had to watch them carefully is fitting in the motor mount which sometimes has been tight. Make sure to have them dry fit it, sand if needed, and use plenty of white glue.

There's a lot of beginning info in this thread:
http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=936

There's a thread about tips for building with kids here:
http://www.rocketryforumarchive.com/showthread.php?t=10371&highlight=kids

As for the education aspect, the Thing-a-ma-jig (and I think also the Watchmacallit) include some educational info with each construction section, so for instance when they use the kevlar cord they will learn it's a tough substance used to make things like bullet proof vests. Personally I think teaching them through the process of building and flying (ie show them the engine diagram and explain what the numbers mean) and maybe an introduction to Newton's 3rd Law is plenty for the first time out.

I'd suggest keeping finishing simple--one coat of primer (the cheap KMart or Walmart primer is fine), minimal sanding unless sanding is their thing. Most kids don't like to fuss--they just want to get it painted and get it into the air. The kids who like to fuss will and you want to make it fun.

Good luck with the class. Be sure and let us know what you decide to do and of course we'll need lots of pictures. :)

Lisa
 

kjohnson

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Quest, Edmonds Aerospace (if you want to do rockets that also glide), and Pratt Hobbies are usually my go-to folks for youth rocketry activities.

All three will work with you to make group orders and have discounts avaialble.

kj
 

Shade

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Everyone thanks for the links and info.

Jim at Fliskits and Bob at Starlight have both contacted me.
 

jflis

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Thanks Jim!

I was amazed he answered my email last night after my first post here on this thread! I have already ordered a whatchamacallit and thingamajig to have my kids assemble as trial prior to the class.
Your Whatchamacallit and Thing-a-ma-Jig kits are on their way :) You should have them in a few days. Keep me posted on the build. Also, remind me when you place your bulk pack order. Since these two kits are for educational use (you're learning how they build so that you can do a class with them), they qualify for the 20% educational discount. I will apply that to your bulk pack order.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on these two kits :)

jim
 

Shade

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Your Whatchamacallit and Thing-a-ma-Jig kits are on their way :) You should have them in a few days. Keep me posted on the build. Also, remind me when you place your bulk pack order. Since these two kits are for educational use (you're learning how they build so that you can do a class with them), they qualify for the 20% educational discount. I will apply that to your bulk pack order.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on these two kits :)

jim
Jim,

Thanks and I appreciate the 2 very nice emails I received!

Sincerely,
Ron
 

jorpet

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I am going to start my son's Cub Scount den year with the building of rockets. I built the Triskelion and Watchamacallit to see what it took to build them. The boys are in 3rd grade, but I am going to go with the Triskelion, partly because it is a very cool looking rocket, but I also think it went together easy enough to do with the boys.

I have the advantage that there are only five boys and my older son will be helping me, along with a parent for each of the kids. So a bit more difficult rocket won't be an issue.

From a flying perspective both where excellent flyers with a smaller motor on a small field, so we will be able to find a park around here that we can fly from. The kids think the rockets are an absolute blast. We built Nebula rockets last year (with too light of card stock as it turned out) and flew those. The boys in my den thought that was a bunch of fun and the whole pack came out to watch them fly the rockets.
 

jflis

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The Triskelion has been my "go-to" beginner kit since I designed it. It has been described by many as the most complex "LOOKING" beginner kit out there. It really is easy to build (not as easy as the Thing-a-ma-Jig, but still... :) )

A good build, teaches many good techniques and turns in great flights.

Here are some photo albums of classes I've done featuring the Triskelion:

Cub Scouts

Athol, MA Public Library

Pollard Elementary School

Pennichuck Elementary School

Fairground Elementary School

Mastricola Upper Elementary School

Danville Elementary School

Well, you get the idea... :D

jim
 

jorpet

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Those are some great pics of launches...

I did like how the Triskelion went together, one of the big pluses of this model. With the fin jig the fins come out as close to perfect as you can hope for, straight and square and properly spaced.

It is a cool looking "big" rocket for it's size. Besides, as I stated a couple months ago, I am looking for a good 4-night project (say 45-60 minutes each time) rather than a really fast build. I want to cover some of the workings of the rockets as we go along and having a slightly slower build will give me more time to cover more ground.
 

luke strawwalker

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Don't forget about Tim Van Milligan over at Apogee Components...

He's got a LOT of resources for teaching rocketry as well, both for sale and on his website.

Good luck! OL JR :)
 

Shade

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I will look over at Apogee. Thanks.

Well I got home from Ft. Wayne last night and sitting on my desk was a box from Jim.
Both rockets Thing... and Whatcha... (I hate typing) were in the box. I am going to
have my 5th grader make both for a trial run. He has built his own scratch built rocket
before so it should be easy for him. He will paint and finish them and I will use them for
demo in the class.
 

jflis

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I will look over at Apogee. Thanks.

Well I got home from Ft. Wayne last night and sitting on my desk was a box from Jim.
Both rockets Thing... and Whatcha... (I hate typing) were in the box. I am going to
have my 5th grader make both for a trial run. He has built his own scratch built rocket
before so it should be easy for him. He will paint and finish them and I will use them for
demo in the class.
Kewl :) Keep us posted. Oh, by the way, for Thing-a-ma-Jig I often type TamJ and the Whatchamacallit is WCMCI... :D
 
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