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conwayte

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Hello,
This is my first post here and I just wanted to say hello and maybe get some info from some of you. This past fall, I ran a 3 week rocket club for students at the middle school where I am the assistant principal. I had about 20 kids who learned about the principles of rocketry and built and launched a variety of rockets-primarily Estes Wizards and Alphas.
I hadn't intended to go down the rocketry rabbit hole but here I find myself. Some of the students really got into it so we're going to continue with some more advanced builds and try our hand at the Reach for the Stars competition with the thought of doing TARC next year.
Just wondering if any folks here might have some helpful tips on getting (and keeping) things rolling with an after school club of this nature.
Also, I've been bitten by the rocketry bug again and have completed a few mpr builds and am currently working on an Estes Scion. I plan on contacting the nearest NAR club and getting to some launches/meeting some folks this spring.
Tim
 

Rex R

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so another 'BAR' (born again Rocketeer) who got their interest rekindled while doing it for the 'kids' :). welcome to the forum & back to the fold. take a look at www.wooshrocketry.org we are NAR section 558
Rex
 

conwayte

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BAR....I like it! Guilty as charged. I honestly had no idea that there was this whole world of rocketry beyond the hobby kits. Thanks and I'll check out Woosh.
Tim
 

Rex R

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couple things that might help stir interest. Jolly Logic sells altimeters that can fit into a 1" diameter tube and weigh about 7g, and one can buy mini video cameras that can be taped to the side of a rocket. hmm TARC means egg lofting with 'home designed' rockets, you might want to look into 'Open Rocket' free rocket design software, also 'the handbook of model rocketry'. NAR, Estes, Apogee, Fliskits all offer info for instructors(just to name a few).
Rex
 

tomsteve

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BAR....I like it! Guilty as charged. I honestly had no idea that there was this whole world of rocketry beyond the hobby kits. Thanks and I'll check out Woosh.
Tim
get on youtube and search " high power rocket launch" or "LDRS" or "BALLS rocket launch." quite crazy cool what people are doing.
 

conwayte

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Thanks! A lot of good resources. The thing I've found with using rockets with kids is they learn while having fun- hard to beat that combination. Jolly logic has some very cool looking items. The altimeters and that chute release they have look like some very interesting technology. I'm also seeing mini cameras like the 808 very cheap. I have some funds available from a grant I wrote so I'm going to have to get ordering!
I have Open Rocket and I've been playing with it for my Scion build.
Those high power rocket launches look incredible.
 

les

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Welcome back to rocketry!
Please post pictures of your builds and flights - we love them here!
Not sure how long ago you did rockets, but there are a lot of great companies with some fun kits out there....
 

Rex R

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the high power launches sound much more impressive in person than on video(the video cams mute the sound).
Rex
 

RocketFeller

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I, too, started back in rockets "for the kids"...

In 1999 I was working as an ESL/SPED Instructional Assistant at Silver Crest, a small public K-8 in rural Oregon. I had purchased a rocket (an Estes Bullpen 12D) as an impulse at a mall toy store. I took it to school to show it to the kids. One kid, a middle-school boy who had very little interest in school, was really into it. The special ed teacher I worked with asked if I could help her to start a rocket club in an attempt to engage this student. The first year we had six or eight middle school kids, which quickly grew to 25-30 kinder through eighth grade students.

Our club meets after school from Spring Break until summer. We used to meet once a week for two hours. For the past five years we changed to twice a week for one hour in order to provide bus service afterwards, but we will once again be moving back to one longer meeting per week.

I believe that one of the keys to our success is parental involvement. Kids third grade and under can only attend with an adult mentor, but we also get parents of older students that want to come for the fun of it. On a sunny afternoon we get whole families showing up with lawn chairs to watch the launch - it is a great way to get people involved.

We have also done a few high-power projects with older students. Last year we built a 12.75" by 122" rocket out of carbon fiber and balsa composite. It involved long hours of work, a field trip to a carbon fiber manufacturing facility, a couple trips to the high school shop, and driving four hours to the Central Oregon desert to launch. We ended up on the local news - it isn't often that six middle-school girls do something like this:

IMG_1743.jpg

IMG_0681.jpg

If you have questions about setup, supplies, or anything else feel free to ask!
 

Rex R

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and the OP is getting paid to get back into rocketry...How cool is that!?
Rex
 

Zeus-cat

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Crimeney!!! What is the number one rule of rocket club? Never talk about rocket club!!! Or maybe that was something else...
 

boatgeek

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I was going to repost some advice I gave to another student group, but I can't find it quickly going through my past comments. The biggest issue I've seen at my school club is space to build and work. As AP, you have a little more pull here than parent volunteers! With a willing adult to lead the club after school and launches, everything else falls into place pretty quickly. As prep for TARC, you might want to build one of the Estes PSII kits--they're a good primer on the tools and techniques you'll need to use for the TARC rockets. Flying those on F or G composite motors will whet your students' appetites for more. If you're close to Madison, definitely check in with Madison West High School to see if they can help/mentor/point you in the right direction.

Welcome to BAR-hood! I got back in exactly this way.
 

conwayte

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Here is a little video of our group this past fall.
[YOUTUBE]dwE1c55-iKg[/YOUTUBE]
 
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conwayte

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Also--thanks everyone for the information and encouragement! I'm not gonna lie, I'm at least as excited as the kids are about this.
 

boatgeek

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Thanks for posting the video! One more thing--if you can launch out in the middle of that big grass field, you stand a much better chance of keeping fins on and getting the rocket back. Pavement is murder on rockets.
 

conwayte

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Yep--learned that lesson the hard way. It had been raining and the field was pretty muddy. We definitely broke a few fins but we kept the custodian happy by not tracking into the building:rolleyes:
 

boatgeek

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Yep--learned that lesson the hard way. It had been raining and the field was pretty muddy. We definitely broke a few fins but we kept the custodian happy by not tracking into the building:rolleyes:
Well, definitely keep the custodian happy. If the custodian or main office admin aren't happy, everything goes to heck in a handbasket! :)
 

Andy Greene

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I smiled while reading your thread and replies, I became a BAR after getting my daughter who was 5 at the time interested in a Dad / Daughter activity. Yeah thats it :rolleyes:
Im really not sure who got the hook set harder straight from the get go- her or me , but its been a fun ride so far. After several years now, I have more stuff built , than I have time to fly- but thats half the fun of it for me. Welcome back and keep encouraging the kids. :)
 

AidanDelli

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I am a sophomore in High School and I have decided to try and start my own rocketry club with my engineering teacher. Reading through these comments are really encouraging and useful and I hope to find a group that is willing to build and launch with me.
 

conwayte

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I am a sophomore in High School and I have decided to try and start my own rocketry club with my engineering teacher. Reading through these comments are really encouraging and useful and I hope to find a group that is willing to build and launch with me.
AidanDelli, best of luck to you getting a rocket club up and running!

A couple of updates on where I'm at:

I asked our Tech. Ed. teacher to see if she minded if we used the shop area and not only is she cool with that, she offered to help with rocket club-nice!
We decided to limit the number of kids to 15 at least at the start-who knows, we may not even get that many. I'm sure kids will come and go. The plan is to start in mid-March and run till the end of the school year, 2 nights a week for an hour or so.

I ordered a bunch of School Rocket kits and motors from Balsa Machining Service. These rockets look to have some nice features at a very reasonable price. These will be provided at no cost to the kids. As far as rocket builds from there, the plan is to gauge interest and see if they want to try building some larger rockets-possibly in small groups, looking at the different competition options, just keep building and launching,etc.

We're also planning on some side projects (waiting for glue to dry, too windy to launch...) building a multi-rocket launch pad and controller, some diy parachute construction, learning Open Rocket (very cool program), getting a club webpage set up, setting up and testing some altimeters, looking at some on-board camera ideas, fund-raising, etc. These forums have provided an incredible amount of info and ideas, and as anyone who has worked with kids of any age knows, ya' gotta' keep 'em engaged.

(Also, here's a picture of a build I'm just about finished with-from the Estes Scion kit. Lesciothan?)
IMG_20170121_103107.jpg

Take care,
Tim
 

Onebadhawk

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Man I always love threads like this..
They're so filled with the positive energy and fun and vigor that can only come with something seriously cool, new and novel...
A hearty welcome back to rocketry...
As far as knowledge,, boy did you come to the right place...
You can find out anything you need to know here...
All the best of luck,,
and thank you for paying forward...

Teddy
 

conwayte

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Wooo, that thing will have a good stability margin. May have to stick a bigger motor in it lower it. Considered going for L1?
I do want to eventually get my L1--I thought it would be cool to work on an L1 build from time to time during rocket club sessions, have the kids help out and get some experience with bigger rockets--who knows, maybe inspire a couple of them to get Jr. L1? This rocket was to experiment with some techniques (read--play around and have some fun). I added a baffle and modified the recovery harness--kevlar ending about an inch below the top of the body tube attached to about 15 feet of 1/2" nylon. I also did internal fillets to get some experience with that. I have a couple of Aerotech LMS F-42's that sim to around 500ft that I'll try once the weather decides to cooperate. Maybe a Madcow Super DX3 for L1???
 

conwayte

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Man I always love threads like this..
They're so filled with the positive energy and fun and vigor that can only come with something seriously cool, new and novel...
A hearty welcome back to rocketry...
As far as knowledge,, boy did you come to the right place...
You can find out anything you need to know here...
All the best of luck,,
and thank you for paying forward...

Teddy
Thank you! Honestly, if it hadn't been seeing how excited some of the kids were when we did our rocket building session in the fall, I probably wouldn't have gone this far down the road. Along with all the actual educational aspects that can be involved in rocketry (which should make for a good presentation to the school board) bottom line is...it's just fun.
 

Onebadhawk

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Thank you! Honestly, if it hadn't been seeing how excited some of the kids were when we did our rocket building session in the fall, I probably wouldn't have gone this far down the road. Along with all the actual educational aspects that can be involved in rocketry (which should make for a good presentation to the school board) bottom line is...it's just fun.
You should get Dan Feller's story..
He's posted in this thread..
I think he's a teacher..
He put up a really big rocket with a class of his kids..
Just wonderful..
Tarc is also seriously cool..
But I'm a fan of bigger birds,, lol..
When Dan was building that rocket there was a thread on it..
See if you can search up that thread,,
you're likely to find some interesting and fun reading there...

Teddy
 

conwayte

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You should get Dan Feller's story..
He's posted in this thread..
I think he's a teacher..
He put up a really big rocket with a class of his kids..
Just wonderful..
Tarc is also seriously cool..
But I'm a fan of bigger birds,, lol..
When Dan was building that rocket there was a thread on it..
See if you can search up that thread,,
you're likely to find some interesting and fun reading there...

Teddy
Yes--he was kind enough to chime in on this thread and I've read about/watched video of the Dragonfly. Absolutely stunning! Those kids will remember that for their entire lives. It looks like he's got another project going with his students--higher and faster!!!

Tim
 

Onebadhawk

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Yes--he was kind enough to chime in on this thread and I've read about/watched video of the Dragonfly. Absolutely stunning! Those kids will remember that for their entire lives. It looks like he's got another project going with his students--higher and faster!!!

Tim
This is 100% correct...
For some this will be part of decision making later on...
How cool is that...

Teddy
 

boatgeek

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I do want to eventually get my L1--I thought it would be cool to work on an L1 build from time to time during rocket club sessions, have the kids help out and get some experience with bigger rockets--who knows, maybe inspire a couple of them to get Jr. L1? This rocket was to experiment with some techniques (read--play around and have some fun). I added a baffle and modified the recovery harness--kevlar ending about an inch below the top of the body tube attached to about 15 feet of 1/2" nylon. I also did internal fillets to get some experience with that. I have a couple of Aerotech LMS F-42's that sim to around 500ft that I'll try once the weather decides to cooperate. Maybe a Madcow Super DX3 for L1???
A 29mm H would probably fly nicely in that rocket to a couple of thousand feet if you want to get an L1 cert and have the space. Smoky or red motors are really exciting for the kids. Also, if you have a bad luck School Rocket (keeps breaking fins on landing, etc.) a D21 is a hoot to fly in an 18mm motor mount. I say to put it in a bad luck rocket because you may never see it again. You will need a 12V launch system, though.
 

Serv1987

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Hi Tim! You and I share some similar experiences. I was heavily into rocketry as a teenager and a few years ago, I started a rocketry program at my middle school. I'll be glad to send you some resources that I put together. Also, acsupplyco.com has fantastic deals for rocket kits, engines, and building supplies. Also, check Estesrockets.com periodically because they often have some good deals on simple, Skill Level 1 kits that would be ideal for the kids.
 
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