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My first Build Session EVER! Advice?

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DAllen

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Okay...so my daughter has managed to whip up her little friends into a rocket frenzy and she begged me to do a build session at her school. The timing couldn't be better since our clubs "big" launch will be the following weekend and everyone ought to have enough time to finish their little rockets and Jim Flis just called to tell me that getting the kits in time should be, "no problem."

Some details:

1. I had to open it up to a variety of ages just because this is a small school. The ages range from 3rd grade to 8th grade.

2. I just ordered 20 Fliskits Triskelions for a variety of reasons. When the box of Triskelions show up, will I find Flistopia? Or is that located somewhere else?

3. We should have 14 kiddos and 3 parents (including myself) and a teacher involved. All of the parents will be building their own kits as we go.

4. If they can't make it to our club launch we have a park lined up the following weekend for a launch for just us.

5. What have I got myself into?

-Dave
 

Gillard

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i've just been landed in the same boat, my wife is a board member of a local pre prep school, and as my son goes there and has started to fly rockets with me and talk to evetyone at school about it, the school now wants me to go in and do "something"
problem is the age range in 2 - 4 year olds - which if my 4 year old is anthing to go by, are not great at building stuff.

i'll probably go with (have to buy before)some stomp rockets and launch a few low power rockets for them to see.

i've gone building rockets with older kids

make sure you constantly talk about safety, especially with the model knifes.
and use glue that has a grap factor and sets faster than standard white glue, the last bunch of kids i used white scholl glue with, just did not have the ability to hold a fin on whilst white glue set.

most importantly...


well done for doing the build session - you will be your daughters hero (you probably already are)
 

Pippen

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5. What have I got myself into?
Some craziness, some fun, and hopefully some time you'll find was well spent. :)

You might pick up some ideas from this thread about educational programs.
http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=1376

I'd also add that I've learned to keep a snack and drinks on hand. It's handy when the crew is in need of a break or I need to occupy some kids while others catch up.

Those Triskelions will come together really nicely for you (the parachutes may be the biggest challenge spot). Have someone go around and check that they do have that fin pushed up against the body tube without leaving a gap. I think I had them build on small cafeteria trays and hauled out our old wooden blocks for weights to keep the fins in place.

My daughter did this one a few years ago. She nipped off the toothpick/missile dealie because it just didn't accessorize the hot pink, purple and glitter color scheme that she'd worked out.
http://www.rocketryforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2138&d=1234614562

Wishing you loads of fun and pink paint galore, :D
Lisa
 

Peartree

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Take plenty of CA with you to the launch. The Triskelions are cool, but those extra fin tab thingamabobs seem to get banged around and knocked off a lot with this age group. Heck, even mine has been repaired several times. If there's time, I recommend attaching this part with glue rivets (Use a push pin to make a line of holes on both the outside fin and the end of the inside fin before you glue) and then make good (double if possible) fillets.

And still bring your CA to the launch.
 

Pippen

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Take plenty of CA with you to the launch. The Triskelions are cool, but those extra fin tab thingamabobs seem to get banged around and knocked off a lot with this age group. .
That's a good tip! I dropped my daughter's :rolleyes: and it popped off too. We must have been out of CA because I stuck it back on with a file folder label.
 

Daddyisabar

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2. I just ordered 20 Fliskits Triskelions for a variety of reasons. When the box of Triskelions show up, will I find Flistopia? Or is that located somewhere else?
-Dave
Flistopia is a state of mind and when you are able to walk over the hardwood floor freshly covered with white primer dust and leave no trace you will be ready to begin your journey of spreading rocketopia-utopia all over the world. At the launch you might have a moment of clarity and like Jules in Pulp Fiction you can "walk the earth, like Caine from Kung-Fu."
 

DAllen

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Ahh yes...CA is a great idea.

Moment of clarity? I believe I had a few of those while at LDRS27 especially when I saw that Q10,000 fly. If that doesn't bring a moment of clarity for a rocketeer all hope is lost.

*DAllen assumes the clarity position behind the work bench with the epoxy bottle in one hand and the hardner bottle in the other*

-Dave
 

jflis

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Dave,

A couple of hints (I believe that some of these are in the instructions, but just in case :) )

  • Assuming you are doing most/all of the build in one session, use some plastic wrap to go over the fin alignment jig. This will keep the jig from getting glued to the rocket (wet glue on the engine mount dripping down...)
  • If you cut the engine hook slot ahead of time you avert the need of a razor knife. This can be done THROUGH the bag even :)
  • Glue fillets.
  • Glue fillets (in case you missed it the first time :) )
  • Super glue at the launch is a great idea for quick fixes. Also (FYI) The triskelion will fly just fine wihtout the fin tips (or with just 1 or 2 attached)
  • Using small paint bottles or other items to prop/press the fins can certainly help when attaching them to the rocket (that's a good idea :) )

Most of all, have fun, take pictures and do your best to hold on to your sanity!

jim
 

DAllen

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do your best to hold on to your sanity!
Jim...It's too late for that. Sanity disappeared many moons ago.

Great hints one and all! I love it! I do have several parents who have volunteered to help along with one of the teachers. Some of the parents will be building their own rockets along with the kids. The numbers are small enough that I think things will be manageable.

And oh yes...There will be pictures!

-Dave
 

DAllen

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We just had our first build session today and all I have to say is...

:D

The only thing I forgot was to take pictures - ARGH! It was a lot of fun and several parents showed up to help. Two of the three parents built their own kits. The teacher was great and I already have kiddos asking me if we can do this again next year.

If you haven't done something like this, you need to try it.

-Dave
 

DAllen

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I almost forgot to mention. Jim Flis' kits are the best! These are super easy to build and the parts are top notch. The kids are totally digging the design.


-Dave
 

jflis

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Thank you much :) I love that Jig-Tech stuff too. Ironically, the design came from a very complex helicopter model I designed many years ago...
 

Peartree

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Thank you much :) I love that Jig-Tech stuff too. Ironically, the design came from a very complex helicopter model I designed many years ago...
It *is* good for builds with younger kids.


Now you just need to release several more designs that use that system so the kids don't build the same rocket every year... :D
 

DAllen

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We had the second build and again...no pictures. :mad::mad: BUT that's because I was sooo busy helping and instructing. What was really wild was that we had a club launch Saturday and all but one of the kiddos managed to show up with parents in tow throughout the day. My itty-bitty 10'x10' EZ-up tent was packed with people all day long! Couple things I learned from this:

- I need at least 3 build sessions of 1 hour each. 4 to get them painted. I felt like we were really rushed to get everything done in 2.

- I need a designated photographer.

All of the parents said things like, "THIS IS SO COOL!" and "THOSE ROCKETS ARE HUGE!" And the kids were saying things like, "Mom? Can I buy more motors, PUH-LEEEEEEZE?!"

Another cool and rather unexpected result was yesterday one of my daughters class mates asked if I could help him build a Mean Machine that he bought on Saturday. Of course I said yes. Between myself, my daughter and him we managed to get everything done except for paint.

Maybe that's what needs to happen to get my daughter to finish a rocket...get a boy involved. :eek:

-Dave
 

jflis

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Sounds like everyone had a great time! :) And that's what it's all about too!
 
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