Advanced Rocketry (Merrimack)
In this session's
Advanced Rocketry class we decided to take a new track.
Rather than build one or two rather complex rockets to expand
their skills and experiences with new building techniques we
decided to focus on finishing techniques.
With that in mind
we settled on the Shadow Lord model rocket kit. This is
not a very complex kit, though it does have some of its own
special building techniques to consider. Rather, our
focus was on doing better on finishing and also learning new
We put extra
attention on cutting the fins, making sure that we had smooth
cuts and even fins. We spent time learning the art of
sanding a knife edge on the leading and trailing edges of the
fins. After making 4 near perfect fins we worked on
preparing them for paint. Each student explored 3
methods including gluing on a paper wrap, using self adhesive
wraps and using common wood filler and sanding. Each
provided their own challenges and the kids were encourage to
select the method they preferred and to apply that to the 4th
Next was attaching
the fins. For this class the kids were able to learn
about the use of epoxy adhesives for this job. After
that they then learned about applying decorative fin fillets
(over the glue fillets) using wood filler to give the fin that
perfect look. During the last of the building classes
they learned about how to apply primer and spray paint.
We applied the primer at the school but the kids had to finish
the models on their own at home. I provided spray paint
to anyone who didn't have access to it at home.
The frustration is
that on our launch day the winds were way too strong for a
launch that would allow us to recover our models. So, on
that day we spent the afternoon in the classroom talking
rockets and exploring brain teasers. We hope to fly
these rockets at a future launch day as all of these kids plan
on signing up for advanced rocketry next session as well!
On the left is a
photo album of the many pictures from this session.
If you see a photo
of your child or their rocket that you would like, send me an
email with the filename of the photo and I can send you a high
resolution version of the picture, suitable for
Enjoy this photo
album! Click on a
thumbnail on the left to get a full size image in this panel.