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Shade

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Some of you may remember I asked some questions on getting a school rocketry program going last year well the time to get things moving forward is appoaching, April and May is the time for the program my son's school calls Friday Academy.

Well the teacher was reviewing the different units with the principle and he stated that nothing flammable could be used with the rocketry. Which basically rules out actually launching the rockets... Fustration...

My question to you all, is have you any ideas on how to approach this and allow the kids to launch their rockets.

The rocket planned for the class is Jim Flis's Whatchamacallit. Mainly to keep cost and deal with a small field size. I plan on launching with Estes 1/4A3-3T engines.

http://www.fliskits.com/products/rocketkits/kit_detail/wcmci.htm

I do plan on emailing TRA and NAR for advise also.

TIA!
 
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shreadvector

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Principal is spelled with an 'a'.

TRA is a High Power Rocket org. I would avoid exposing the Principal to High Power Rockets.

1) FInd exactly why the Principal thinks that Model Rockets would not be allowed. Remember, there are no matches or fuses and the students are not anywhere near an open flame or "fire". The Model Rocekts are electrically ignited and the motors are pre-made/pre-assembled. They are sold in toy stores and hobby shops by the tens of millions nationwide and have been used in school rocketry programs by the millions.

2) Make sure you have SIMPLE explanatory materials to show the Principal all about Model Rockets. Usually those who are simply completely unfamiliar with Model Rockets are the ones who are "afraid". Request a demonstration launch for the teachers and administration. And if you do a demo launch, make it SAFE - do not show off with giant rockets or powerful rockets or stupid-rocs (saucers or other silly rockets that tend to arc over and look dangerous or like fireworks).

I'll see what's online for materials, but the Estes website lost most of the good educational literature. Ill check Quest and I know I have a few Powerpoint presentations that are used for school programs.
 

shrox

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I'll bet the lawnmower used on the school grounds uses a flammable material for fuel. The staff's cars probably do as well...

Quest has an educators' packet, it's a good start.
 

rcktnut

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Try as Fred said, if that doesn't work you should be able to launch after school hours.
 

shreadvector

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The .ppt is too large to post as an attchment. It's from the NAR but I cannot find it on the NAR website at the moment.
e-mail me if you need it.

The TARC video is nice, but a bit too "powerful" looking for a skittish Principal. it would be perfect for a Middel of high School Prinical to show them about TARC.

http://www.ndep.us/LabTV2.aspx?id=2&t=It's%20a%20Blast!
 

Shade

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Principal is spelled with an 'a'.

TRA is a High Power Rocket org. I would avoid exposing the Principal to High Power Rockets.

1) FInd exactly why the Principal thinks that Model Rockets would not be allowed. Remember, there are no matches or fuses and the students are not anywhere near an open flame or "fire". The Model Rocekts are electrically ignited and the motors are pre-made/pre-assembled. They are sold in toy stores and hobby shops by the tens of millions nationwide and have been used in school rocketry programs by the millions.

2) Make sure you have SIMPLE explanatory materials to show the Principal all about Model Rockets. Usually those who are simply completely unfamiliar with Model Rockets are the ones who are "afraid". Request a demonstration launch for the teachers and administration. And if you do a demo launch, make it SAFE - do not show off with giant rockets or powerful rockets or stupid-rocs (saucers or other silly rockets that tend to arc over and look dangerous or like fireworks).

I'll see what's online for materials, but the Estes website lost most of the good educational literature. Ill check Quest and I know I have a few Powerpoint presentations that are used for school programs.
Principal - "I'm not smarter than a fifth grader..."

Demo launch is a great idea. I will not launch anything but you basice tube and fins on A's and B's.

Try as Fred said, if that doesn't work you should be able to launch after school hours.
That was already discussed, that a note would be sent home with the students and we would do it on a weekend day. I would require at least one parent be present during the launching of the rockets.

The .ppt is too large to post as an attchment. It's from the NAR but I cannot find it on the NAR website at the moment.
e-mail me if you need it.

The TARC video is nice, but a bit too "powerful" looking for a skittish Principal. it would be perfect for a Middel of high School Prinical to show them about TARC.

http://www.ndep.us/LabTV2.aspx?id=2&t=It's%20a%20Blast!
Thanks for the input so far. Jim Flis also emailed me back, I will post his reply later as it has some good points also.
 

tquigg

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Our group (The Blue Mountain Rocketeers) ran into this same problem a couple of years ago when we participated in the "21st Century" after-school program here in Dayton. They would not allow us to launch model rockets from any of the school grounds, as the rocket motors were deemed to be "flammable materials" in violation of school policy. We just set a launch date and the school bused the kids out to our club's launch site after school and we launched from there. The kids had a blast! I had to transport the model rocket motors in my personal vehicle, because once again, the "flammable materials" could not be transported in the bus.

There are ways to work around the system, just think outside the box.

Best Regards
 

Shade

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I had to transport the model rocket motors in my personal vehicle, because once again, the "flammable materials" could not be transported in the bus.
Just to stir the pot... "How do they get fuel in the busses???"
 

TWRackers

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Just to stir the pot... "How do they get fuel in the busses???"
Don't need it. Unlike in our grandparents' day, when they had to "walk N miles to school and back, uphill both ways", it's now downhill both ways.

:D
 

jflis

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Principal - "I'm not smarter than a fifth grader..."

Demo launch is a great idea. I will not launch anything but you basice tube and fins on A's and B's.



That was already discussed, that a note would be sent home with the students and we would do it on a weekend day. I would require at least one parent be present during the launching of the rockets.



Thanks for the input so far. Jim Flis also emailed me back, I will post his reply later as it has some good points also.
A demo launch IS a good idea. Leave home any of the fancy rockets or anything that has extra degrees of difficulty (leave the egg carriers and glider models at home, bring the 3FNC, streamers and such. Saucers can be good too)

Don't do ANYthing to provoke. The comments about what fuels the cars and buses are all very humorous and also counter productive. If you do anything to make the principal feel foolish, you've lost.

part of my email response to Ron follows:

Yes, this is frustrating. I would set up a meeting with the principal and explain how model rocketry works and emphasize its safety record.

I would also spend some time looking over the many school and youth group related photo albums that we have posted on our site. Find one or two that you think work the best and invite the principal to look through them with you. Seeing the look of excitement on the students as well as their parents, friends and teachers can go a long way towards getting permission.

Lastly, you can also point out that the Civil Air Patrol, Cub and Boy Scouts and even the 4-H have intensive model rocketry programs (to emphasize that they are not only perfectly suited for youths, but also strongly desired by both youths, leaders and parents).

I hope these idea's help.
 

DAllen

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Well the teacher was reviewing the different units with the principle and he stated that nothing flammable could be used with the rocketry. Which basically rules out actually launching the rockets... Fustration...
Nothing flammable huh? Hope they keep the grass well watered on the school grounds because dried grass could be quite flammable. We probably don't want any pointy things at the school either. Better put corks on the forks (name that movie.)

-Dave
 

shrox

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Nothing flammable huh? Hope they keep the grass well watered on the school grounds because dried grass could be quite flammable...

-Dave
Paper, cotton, wood, glue. Schools are deathtraps!
 

powderburner

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(name that movie.)
Lots of good tips already posted, lots of snide comments about flammable school materials (like notebook paper?), you just need to make a professional presentation to the principal. Dress nicely (SERIOUSLY!), try not to speak like a goober ("Hey, watch me do THIS!") Might not be a bad idea to ask the school science teacher to attend (I think there is some chance that a science teacher might have dabbled with model rockets in the past, and they could be on your side too)

I think it would help if you had more to discuss than just whoosh-pop-wasn't-that-fun? You need to emphasize how you will present some science/physics basics, how you will include a bit of meteorology, maybe assign a couple kids to pace off a baseline and do a rough visual track, then come back in the classroom and do a rough altitude calc (trigonometry, etc). There are many educational aspects to play with here.

For schools/scouts/first-timers, I am a huge fan of 1/2A motors. First of all, the smaller size of 13mm motors is even less intimidating. (When you read off the weight of propellant inside that dinky thing, many people are surprised) Second, they still move a small modroc just fine, get it in the air, and stay low enough that you almost guarantee a recovery without chasing across the street or beyond the schoolyard boundaries. (And when you are school-schedule-limited and don't have the luxury of aborting a launch on a marginal weather day, low altitude makes a BIG difference on your launch decision) Oh yeah, they're even less expensive than the 18mm motors. The 1/2A motors work great because they still make smoke and noise, the rocket still flies, and the kids don't know the difference!

Don't forget that over 300 million model rocket motors have been manufactured and launched (I think that's an old Estes number) with a safety record FAR better than any other activity or sport allowed on school property--and that's just counting the American-made motors (maybe the same number or more made in Germany, Russia, China, etc). Present the NAR safety code and cover it item by item.

Are there any other schools in your area that allow launches? The elementary school may claim it is not allowed but your middle schools and high schools may launch rockets on a regular basis. If you can find any activity like that, try to get the other school principal to talk to your "problem" principal.
 
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troj

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TRA is a High Power Rocket org. I would avoid exposing the Principal to High Power Rockets.
Couldn't disagree more.

An overview of the safety of the hobby, including long-term potential, such as participation in TARC and SLI for students is a positive thing.

The key is providing a context for all of the activities, as well as indicating that each is to be engaged in only at a proper venue.

-Kevin
 

shreadvector

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Couldn't disagree more.

An overview of the safety of the hobby, including long-term potential, such as participation in TARC and SLI for students is a positive thing.

The key is providing a context for all of the activities, as well as indicating that each is to be engaged in only at a proper venue.

-Kevin
I absolutely disagree. You are dealing with a Principal who is afraid of anything flammable. There is no need to show him or her anything about any form of rocketry other than the small Model Rockets that permission is being sought to launch.

Showing NASA rockets and their huge flames will not help, even though they are fantastic scientific tools. Nor will showing military missiles from any era. All of the professional rockets have a risk (and some have a history of) injury and fatality.

Think of it this way, if you were seeking permission for a small chemistry class lesson in water electrolysis (breaking H2O into H2 and O2) which would include burning the H2 and O2 produced to form water (H2O) again, you would not show the Principal information about large home chemistry labs, nor would you show him/her information on professional chemistry like oil refineries or pharmaceutical manufacturing.

You simply want to provide simple information to someone who has already demonstrated they are simple minded and are easily frightened and alarmed.
 

troj

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I absolutely disagree. You are dealing with a Principal who is afraid of anything flammable. There is no need to show him or her anything about any form of rocketry other than the small Model Rockets that permission is being sought to launch.

Showing NASA rockets and their huge flames will not help, even though they are fantastic scientific tools. Nor will showing military missiles from any era. All of the professional rockets have a risk (and some have a history of) injury and fatality.

Think of it this way, if you were seeking permission for a small chemistry class lesson in water electrolysis (breaking H2O into H2 and O2) which would include burning the H2 and O2 produced to form water (H2O) again, you would not show the Principal information about large home chemistry labs, nor would you show him/her information on professional chemistry like oil refineries or pharmaceutical manufacturing.

You simply want to provide simple information to someone who has already demonstrated they are simple minded and are easily frightened and alarmed.
Or, you can realize that the principal may well find out about such things on his own, and have concerns about them.

Educate, show there are long term opportunities for the kids, and let them know "that's not what we're after here, as this isn't the right venue for that."

If the right approach is to hide NAR educational programs from educators, then the right approach is for NAR to get away from those programs.

Being open, up front, and honest with them will score you a lot more points.

-Kevin
 

shreadvector

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Or, you can realize that the principal may well find out about such things on his own, and have concerns about them.

Educate, show there are long term opportunities for the kids, and let them know "that's not what we're after here, as this isn't the right venue for that."

If the right approach is to hide NAR educational programs from educators, then the right approach is for NAR to get away from those programs.

Being open, up front, and honest with them will score you a lot more points.

-Kevin
i'm not sure why you are talking about NAR educational programs.

I simply said that TRA is a High Power Rocketry org and that their materials would not be useful for convincing a Principal who is scared of Model Rockets that Model Rockets are safe and educational.

The NAR material is perfect for that, and that is the what I encouraged using and that's the opposite of what you seem to be saying. I never said not to use the NAR educational material and I provided a copy of it via e-mail (before the former NAR prez provided a direct link which I could not find when I last looked).
 

troj

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i'm not sure why you are talking about NAR educational programs.

I simply said that TRA is a High Power Rocketry org and that their materials would not be useful for convincing a Principal who is scared of Model Rockets that Model Rockets are safe and educational.
You said, and I quote you directly:

TRA is a High Power Rocket org. I would avoid exposing the Principal to High Power Rockets.
The NAR material is perfect for that, and that is the what I encouraged using and that's the opposite of what you seem to be saying. I never said not to use the NAR educational material and I provided a copy of it via e-mail (before the former NAR prez provided a direct link which I could not find when I last looked).
You said to avoid exposing him to high power rockets. Period. Not Tripoli, but "high power rockets".

Your implication, then, based on further comments, is that high power rocketry is somehow unsafe, as you mentioned it in the same context as risks about amateur and professional rockets.

Somehow, I doubt that implication is in line with the beliefs of NAR. Otherwise, I cannot imagine them having a HPR program, much less being involved with SLI.

-Kevin
 

shreadvector

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You are twisting what I said into something sinister and you are 100% incorrect. Please try to take a deep breath and calm down.

If The TRA has Model Rocket information that can calm an irrationally scared Principal down so that they approve a Model Rocket program, then please post the link to that Model Rocket information.

If this was a college level rocketry project, then HPR materials from either NAR or TRA would be excellent. If it was a college level experimental rocketry progam, then TRA would be the logical coice.

You seem to be trying to create a controversy or arguement revolving around an absurd "NAR vs. TRA" theme. There is no need.

The program in question is a Model Rocket progam and the only national rocketry org that has the materials to support Model Rocketry education is the NAR.

Bothe TRA and NAR have materials for High power Rocketry, but we are not talking about that.
I only mentinoned it because an irrational and scared Principal is going to be even more irrational and scared when exposed to huge rockets with giant flames - or 'sparky motors'. By extension, showing the Principal ICBMs will not help get a Model Rocket program approved. I am - once again - simply saying that if you are trying to get approval for a specific type of activity, then why try to get that approval by showing them materials about activities that are beyond the level?

Apparently what I said in a previous response was missed, so here it is again:

I absolutely disagree. You are dealing with a Principal who is afraid of anything flammable. There is no need to show him or her anything about any form of rocketry other than the small Model Rockets that permission is being sought to launch.

Showing NASA rockets and their huge flames will not help, even though they are fantastic scientific tools. Nor will showing military missiles from any era. All of the professional rockets have a risk (and some have a history of) injury and fatality.

Think of it this way, if you were seeking permission for a small chemistry class lesson in water electrolysis (breaking H2O into H2 and O2) which would include burning the H2 and O2 produced to form water (H2O) again, you would not show the Principal information about large home chemistry labs, nor would you show him/her information on professional chemistry like oil refineries or pharmaceutical manufacturing.

You simply want to provide simple information to someone who has already demonstrated they are simple minded and are easily frightened and alarmed.


You said, and I quote you directly:





You said to avoid exposing him to high power rockets. Period. Not Tripoli, but "high power rockets".

Your implication, then, based on further comments, is that high power rocketry is somehow unsafe, as you mentioned it in the same context as risks about amateur and professional rockets.

Somehow, I doubt that implication is in line with the beliefs of NAR. Otherwise, I cannot imagine them having a HPR program, much less being involved with SLI.

-Kevin
 

Shade

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Everyone thanks for you input, it has been helpful. My contact teacher is
going to discuss the program with the Principal, and suggest that I come in
and answer any questions. My presentation skills are good, I do
presentations for a living. I will limit the discussion to what I plan on doing
with the class, LPR, in particular 1/4A 13mm engines and fractional ounce (~
0.35 oz) weight rockets.

I will discuss the safety procedures and the high degree of adult supervision
and control as well as the educational experience.

(To my own private amusement: I live in a rural/farming community
and most of the kids at this age have already driven tractor and go hunting.
Somehow the use of firearms and driving multi ton machines seems more
dangerous than Estes engines...)
 

redsox15

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I was asked to do a presentation at a school by a teacher but the principal was hesitant because of the whole flammable thing as well and she did not like the way the motor was lit. She thought that a big battery and a lot of electricity was used to light one. I was not allowed to come in for those two reasons so the best advice i can give is reassure the principal that you are not coming in with the bomb squad and you are not launching yourself to the moon off the playground. Introducing HPR to the principal will overwhelm them and they will automatically say no.

So going along with the KISS method, talk about the most basic aspects of model rocketry 3FNC kind of thing.

Hope this was helpful

Matt
 

troj

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You are twisting what I said into something sinister and you are 100% incorrect. Please try to take a deep breath and calm down.
Nope, Fred, I took exactly what you said. No twisting.

You made a blanket statement, I simply pointed it out as such.

-Kevin
 

shreadvector

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Nope, Fred, I took exactly what you said. No twisting.

You made a blanket statement, I simply pointed it out as such.

-Kevin
I still don't see how TRA has any information to help this situation. No amount of snipping content from my posts and quoting small portions will alter my original meaning and my intended meaning which has been explained multiple times now. I can only assume that you do not wish to understand my clear and lengthy explanations, and that your intent is to try to initiate an argument. I will not engage. I will simply continue to provide valid and clear information to help the person who asked the
original question solve the actual problem they presented.

Please end your responses to me and my posts now, since any further contradictions will clearly be an attempt to draw me into an argument and I will not do so. One welcome exception would be the request that I have quoted again below and highlighted in red. If that does not exist, then simply don't respond and let this rest. Thank you.

**********

If The TRA has Model Rocket information that can calm an irrationally scared Principal down so that they approve a Model Rocket program, then please post the link to that Model Rocket information.

If this was a college level rocketry project, then HPR materials from either NAR or TRA would be excellent. If it was a college level experimental rocketry progam, then TRA would be the logical coice.

You seem to be trying to create a controversy or arguement revolving around an absurd "NAR vs. TRA" theme. There is no need.

The program in question is a Model Rocket progam and the only national rocketry org that has the materials to support Model Rocketry education is the NAR.

Bothe TRA and NAR have materials for High power Rocketry, but we are not talking about that.
I only mentinoned it because an irrational and scared Principal is going to be even more irrational and scared when exposed to huge rockets with giant flames - or 'sparky motors'. By extension, showing the Principal ICBMs will not help get a Model Rocket program approved. I am - once again - simply saying that if you are trying to get approval for a specific type of activity, then why try to get that approval by showing them materials about activities that are beyond the level?

Apparently what I said in a previous response was missed, so here it is again:

I absolutely disagree. You are dealing with a Principal who is afraid of anything flammable. There is no need to show him or her anything about any form of rocketry other than the small Model Rockets that permission is being sought to launch.

Showing NASA rockets and their huge flames will not help, even though they are fantastic scientific tools. Nor will showing military missiles from any era. All of the professional rockets have a risk (and some have a history of) injury and fatality.

Think of it this way, if you were seeking permission for a small chemistry class lesson in water electrolysis (breaking H2O into H2 and O2) which would include burning the H2 and O2 produced to form water (H2O) again, you would not show the Principal information about large home chemistry labs, nor would you show him/her information on professional chemistry like oil refineries or pharmaceutical manufacturing.

You simply want to provide simple information to someone who has already demonstrated they are simple minded and are easily frightened and alarmed.
 

plano-doug

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Being open, up front, and honest with them will score you a lot more points.
Kevin, I've been in technical sales for 20 years, and have built a reputation for being honest and trustworthy. In this profession, there are many opportunities to BS a customer rather than being upfront, but I've always stuck to my principles. Nevertheless, in that time, I've also learned you can be too candid - you can be so open as to scare the customer away. He can become overwhelmed. My take is that all Fred is saying is to not overwhelm the principal with extraneous information, especially if it has greater potential to scare him.

My 2 cents.

Doug

.
 

powderburner

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....and she did not like the way the motor was lit. She thought that a big battery and a lot of electricity was used to light one.
It appears that she was/is right. Whether it is a big battery is kind of another matter, but a battery and electricity is definitely used to ignite modroc motors.

Please tell us you were not trying to "light" your motors with a fuse.....
 

troj

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Kevin, I've been in technical sales for 20 years, and have built a reputation for being honest and trustworthy. In this profession, there are many opportunities to BS a customer rather than being upfront, but I've always stuck to my principles. Nevertheless, in that time, I've also learned you can be too candid - you can be so open as to scare the customer away. He can become overwhelmed. My take is that all Fred is saying is to not overwhelm the principal with extraneous information, especially if it has greater potential to scare him.
You don't want to go into detail on it, but at the same time, you don't want the principal to have heard about it from another source, and you don't address it.

Simply mention "Yes, high power rocketry exists, but that's not what we're interested in working with." Not much detail, but a mention that yes, it does exist.

The last thing you want is for them to know that there's more to the hobby than you've mentioned, and for them to thing you're hiding something. Or, for them to find out about it later, and think that you weren't forthcoming.

-Kevin
 
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