Rockets lift off at Beaty-Warren Middle School
On Thursday, students in eighth grade headed out to Beaty Field, donned their protective eyewear, and sent their rockets hurtling toward the heavens.
Throughout the unit that culminated with Rocket Day, students learned lessons about Newton’s laws of motion, gravity, thrust, and air resistance.
Groups of students had to build and decorate their rockets for the final parts of the unit.
Themes were a must and students were encouraged to dress to match their theme – Where’s Waldo, the Spiderverse, penguins, Penn State, and Pittsburgh Steelers, were some of the themes clearly on display.
Groups started by taking their personalized rockets to the recovery system table where they loaded the parachutes that are key to being able to launch the rockets more than once.
Then, they moved to the engine table for engines. Each group’s first engine was an A – the smallest amount of propulsion, with altitudes up to 500 feet. On subsequent launches, groups could opt for B and even C engines, that have the potential to send rockets over 1,500 feet into the sky.
Groups then waited for their turns at the launch table. They placed their rockets on the launch pads, attached igniters, and stood back and counted down before sending electrical signals into the engines to fire them.
More often than not, the rockets took off on the first try. Some required a little more encouragement – or a new igniter.
Most students charged off after launch to catch or pick up their rockets. But, properly packed parachute or not, some rockets were not recoverable.
Toward the end of the day, two consecutive rockets rode the wind south and west. One was last seen floating in Conewango Creek. The other crossed the creek and disappeared among trees in the back yard of a Water Street residence.