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As with the Rhino from the beginner class, we begin with the engine mount.
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Yep, we get one in EVERY class... LOL
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These kids have built rockets with me in the past and know the routine.  
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They just dig right in!
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The cutting of fins is fun as the entire class is "Heads Down" while they trace and carefully cut out the 4 required fins for the Praetor.
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Proper knife technique and use of a straight edge are key to a good job!
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This is a lengthy process taking up much of the class time.
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Extra effort to make sure the edges are square.
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After getting them all cut out, great effort is made to be sure they are all the same size and shape.
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The kids learned (re-learned) the technique of stacking and sanding the fin edges together.
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Sand, inspect, sand, inspect, repeat as needed.
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After getting the shape correct, they went on to create the trademark knife edge on the Praetor fins.
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Learning (in some cases for the first time) the "Double Glue" method of fin attachment, the kids begin attaching their fins.
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Some quicker than others.  Those hearing of this method for the first time are shocked and pleased with how well it works.
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Ah yes, the dreaded parachutes!  I had at least 2 of the kids ask if they could use a parachute they had at home.  Nope!  This is one of the necessary evils of rocketry and it is best to just get used to it.
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As with everything, going slowly and taking your time results in a better looking and working model.
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It is often quicker as well as it takes less time to do it right the first time than it does to do it over again...
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Finishing up the parachutes, we approach the end of this class time.
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Everyone is excited about their models!  Next week we paint!
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As with the beginner class, we know all about finishing techniques but we don't have the time or facilities to really implement them.  So we do our best with what we have.
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Some kids put a lot of thought into their paint job while others just want a splash of color
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We used what colors were available, including this bright kelly green!
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It didn't show up very well in this picture, but this one is being painted like a fish and he is currently adding scales to the gray paint.  He did a GREAT job too!
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Putting thought into the overall concept, he sanded an edge on the fin that will induce a slight roll to the model during boost.  Wanting to take advantage of that effect, he is painting a moderate spiral on the model.  kewl!
LAUNCH DAY!
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Due to the bitter cold temps (in the high teens), we opted to prep our rockets in the classroom
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Much easier to work with your hands and not with gloves on.  Plus their attention span was much better as they weren't spending all their time shivering
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Also, due to the cold weather, the kids learned the reasons and technique of using talcum powder on their chutes
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Nearly done, we will then caravan out to the launch field at the upper elementary school!
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Does it look cold to you!??!
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The most frustrating part of this, for the kids, was when they realized they couldn't hook up the clips with gloves or mitten on... LOL
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They're almost saying "Take the darned picture, already!"
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Launching in the low light of winter dusk always produces the coolest exhaust flame!
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Rocketry buds!
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And we have LIFTOFF!
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This one hung up on the pad (we had two do this).  It turns out it was a defect on the blast deflector that hung up on the launch lug...
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Hard to tell who some of these kids are, all bundled up and all :)
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Good launch!  We also had problems with the parachutes not wanting to open in the cold, talc notwithstanding.
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This is the 2nd rocket that hung up on the pad!
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I love these two, especially the one on the right.  It's hard to see, but he painstakingly painted hundreds of scales on his fish-rocket.  Beautiful!
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And we have liftoff!
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The best flight of the day!
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With perfect deployment!
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Our last launch.  We're all freezing by this point but we managed to finish up!
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By the time this rocket hit the ground, we had already begun tearing down the range! LOL
That's it!

We have one more class (which was to be our rain-date, if needed).  Instead it will be lecture day where we will learn some more practical rocketry information to help them in their enjoyment of rocketry at home.  I hope we are able to do this again in the Spring time!

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