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Week 1
 
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Yowza!  I have a LARGE class again this session!  16 in the beginner class and 8 in the advanced class.  Good stuff!
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Ross, one of my helpers, takes advantage of quite time to get homework done.  When needed he gets right to work helping the kids in class and helping me as well.
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Everyone busy building their Avalear kits (beginners) and the Intergalactic Man of Space (Advanced class)
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The last hour is just the advanced class as they work on their micro model.
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They quickly realize that it's the same technique as with larger models, just harder to see... LOL
Next week we will complete these models.  I will be preparing the advanced class for designing their own rockets for construction in the 2nd half of the session.
Week 2
Not many pix.  I forgot I had the camera!
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Near the end of the beginners class and the start of the advanced class.  The beginner rockets are built and the kids relax with the catalog and sharing rocketry stories.
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The advanced class is working on two micro rockets, the Intergalactic Man of Space and the Dead Ringer.
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Both kits are a great introduction to the world of micro rocketry, so long as you have some good experience with larger birds.
Week 3
This was our first of 2 scheduled launches.  This launch had to be cancelled as I was called out of town.  We will launch all of our rockets at our 2nd, and final launch of the session during Week 7
Week 4
This would normally be our lecture week, but this was cancelled as it fell on Thanksgiving weekend.
Week 5
This week we get right back into it building our next rocket.  For the beginners it was the Over Drive.  The advanced class spent their holiday time designing their own rocket using the lessons learned in class.  This week they begin assembling their designs.  I was so busy with the beginner class that I never got a picture taken (sorry!)
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The advanced rockets all had some common elements (such as the engine mount and parachute).  I had the kids assemble these parts while I reviewed their designs for stability issues.
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The kids were determined to go further in their builds so I allowed them to glue up their body tubes and to begin cutting out their fins.
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To say that these kids were exciting watching their own designs come into shape would be an understatement!
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During a quite moment, Ross takes a break.  Don't let him fool you.  He's napping like a cat, with one eye and one ear open.  I would call out "Ross,"...  and his feet would be on the floor before I could finish with "help me pass out some tools..."  A very good helper!
Week 6
 
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The beginner class is preparing to start.  Here I have their kit bags (Over Drive) laid out (they put their names on the header cards)
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Here are some of the kits from last week.  We got the main body work done and the fin assemblies glued up, ready for attachment to the body tubes.
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Here the advanced designs are starting to take shape.  It was a lot of work setting up bagged kits that represented what the kids had designed.  At one point my helper Ross commented "They're building their own designs?!!?  We BEGGED you to let us do that!"  Man, was Ross ticked! LOL  
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I think these kids are really getting a feel for where this hobby can take them if they put their minds to it.
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Long fins may mean good stability but they are also a pain to get attached and a pain to KEEP attached, as Connor discovered.
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For my vote, the best design of the class.
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All of the designs were incredible, but this one had the best looking lines, the best balsa workmanship and, I think, the most creativity.
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Here's a close up of the fin area.
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A group shot of the advanced class and their finished creations!
Week 7
Ok, we ran into a problem...  A 3-fold problem.  First, my classes this year have more than doubled in size (17 beginners and 9 advanced (with the advanced kids building 2 micro kit and their own design).  Second, we missed our first launch (meaning we have about 60 rockets to fly) and Third, at this time of year we have about 45 minutes of daylight by the time classes start.  

Not Going To Happen... 

 We set up and got about 10 rockets in the air during class (those who could not make a Saturday launch) and they we scheduled a Saturday launch for the rest of the kids.  Everyone got their rockets in the air even though the temps were in the low 20's with wind chills in the single digits!

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First launch on Friday.  The sun is low in the sky and photo's were very hard to get!
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One of the advanced classes designs.  It was stable, but only marginally.  It tipped off the launch rod and continued straight on the path you see in the photo.  The model wound up on the roof of the school
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Two more advanced designs.  These kids did SO good designing and building (then flying) their own designs.  I can only hope they felt a fraction of the satisfaction that I felt with my first successful scratch built design back in the 1960's!
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Rocket AWAY!
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Closest to the pad and a good catch!
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Needless to say, Thomas was very proud of this rocket!
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All in all, we had nearly 100% success with the advanced kids designs.  For that matter, we had 100% success overall for all of the rockets flown!
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This was one of two recovery failures marking the only two for the entire session
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Avalears and scratch builts getting ready for flight
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The obligatory pose
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Two more scratch builts.  You can see all the kids and their parents who braved the cold on this fine Saturday afternoon.
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We have LIFT OFF!
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Two for two!
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Near field recovery is always fun, so long as we can avoid those darned trees!
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Hamming it up for the camera!
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Long, thin fins make for great stability but can be a hassle on landing.  This model lost one fin while landing on the hard pack snow.
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Two more Avalear's ready to go
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These kids were SO excited to see their rockets scream into the air then float back to earth
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Good catch, safe recovery
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A good chase, but not quick enough.  Safe landing though!
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Last of the Avaler kits ready for flight.
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A good performer every time!
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And we have a NEW closest to the pad winner!
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A Dead Ringer (micro kit) and the Over Drive.  And we have a Jim Flis impersonator on the field (coffee cup, hat, rocket...   ...do the math...)
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Hooking up the clips creates a whole new challenge in the, what we call, "stupid cold"...
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Another Dead Ringer and Over Drive
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And yet another!
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Some creative paint jobs on these rockets, that's for sure!
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I was surprised and pleased with how well the advanced kids did with the micro rockets.  On a cold day like this, bigger is far easier to work with!
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I actually captured a Dead Ringer during boost!
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Here comes the Over Drive for a safe grass landing!
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More camera hams!  This time an Intergalactic Man of Space with an Over Drive
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And I caught the Intergalactic Man of Space this time!
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An IMOS and another Avalear (guess we had one more left!)
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IMOS is transported to about 100 feet!
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With the Avalear close behind!
Many thanks to the kids and their parents during this launch.  I appreciate you taking time from your busy day to get your kids to this launch so that they would be able to fly.

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