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The APR before the carnage, err, I mean rocketry class...
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To help speed up the assembly, I pre-assembled parts of the engine mounts (we only had an hour and this was a VERY young group)  You can also see our Cut-Away Model Rocket Motor model there.
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Here are the Whatchamacallit kits that we will be building.
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I also brought some display models to show the kids: Journeyman (coming soon), Frick-n-Frack, UFFO, Decim8, Bull's Eye and Nantucket Sound.
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First group of 16 kids begin construction, beginning with the Jig-Tech fin unit.
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This was the youngest group I have ever worked with, with regard to rocket assembly.  Some as young as 5 years old! (with the help of adults from the program)
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Finishing up the fin unit
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For some, the Jig Tech fins were tricky, for others they were a snap!
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We spent more than expected time on the Fins then moved on to the engine mount.
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With the engine mount complete, and the streamer, we went on to the final assembly.
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The result was 16 finished Whatchamacallit kits, ready for paint!
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Second group arrives and it's a repeat performance!  Here we see them writing their names on the rockets after we completed the assembly.
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All done, we begin clean up and a short lecture on what to expect on launch day.
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Here we have a happy group of rocketeers ready to fly!
We built on Tuesday with plans to fly on Thursday.  The weather was touch and go, but we managed through wind gusts and the occasional rain shower.  Between build and launch, the group got together (unknown to me) and painted their models.  KEWL!
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The rocket range, ready to go.  I got there about 15 min ahead of time to get all set up so that we can hit the ground running!
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Both groups (over 35 rockets in all) came out together for a very large pre-launch lecture and instruction.  With my rocketry groups, I let the kids do everything from preping and installing the motor and recovery device to installing their rocket on the launch pad and running the controller.  They do it all (with instruction) as I watch and photograph it all :)
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First group of 2 ready to go!
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And we have our first rocket in the air!
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Followed quickly by the second!
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It was then that I realized I had neglected to get a group photo.  These kids had to move 2 times (once due to a bees nest and another because they were in the downrange area) so rather then move them again to group up for a photo, I just took 3 pictures of the long line of kids :)
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Ranging in age from 5-9, these kids were EXCITED!
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They didn't even let the weather put a damper on their fun.
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Next two are ready to go!
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Into the air it goes!
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Caught at the moment of ignition!
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Dad helps out at the pad.  Have you EVER seen such a look of concentration before in your life???
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Proudly posing with their creations.  You have GOT to love the colors!
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Into the air we will go!
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Honest, we DID have a great flight!  I was just too quick on the shutter and missed the launch!
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Guys and gals, mixing it up on the rocket range
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Pretty in pink, she leaves in a hurry!
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Not to be overshadowed, he follows quickly
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I just love it when the kids ham it up for the camera LOL
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A different type of shot, looking back towards the LCO table, you can see our young rocketeer grimace as he pushes the button!
I totally missed the next launch, getting nothing but a smoke trail...
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Kids having fun on Spring break.  It doesn't get much better than this!
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I know all these shots look the same to most of you, but to the rocketeer who pushed the button on HIS/HER rocket...   ...THIS is the best shot in the album! :)
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Followed by another BEST shot in the album, etc, etc... :)
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Little hands and sharp eye attach the micro clips
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Time to fly the rockets!
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Liftoff!  We have liftoff!
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Leaving its earthly binds behind
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The weather was causing some real issues with trying to get good shots, but you can hide cute, no matter WHAT the settings!
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Not just cute, but effective too!
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We had a great deal of success this fine day!
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If he could hug his rocket, he would!
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3, 2, 1, LIFTOFF!
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In to the wild blue (gray?) yonder!
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Rocketeers of all sizes!
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And success at every launch!
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This day we had 2 misfires (bad igniters) and 2 recovery failure (no damage).  That is a successful day in anybody's book!
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This is what happens when you say "smile for the camera".  I'll never learn... LOL
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But launches like this make them really smile (and me too!)
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WHOOSH!
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Some kids flew "naked" (meaning no paint on the rocket) but most didn't
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Either way, they flew great!
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But the painted ones sure look cooler going up!
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She had to work at it, but wanted no help hooking up the clips
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Hiding behind her rocket??
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Caught just inches above the blast deflector
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These things REALLY scooted into the air!
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Two painted beauties ready to go
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Another caught just off the pad!
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While the other caught way up on the air, still under power!
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Heavy hooded poncho and short sleeved shirt.  Welcome to New England in the Spring where you can never be sure how you should dress...  (both outfits were suitable for today, depending on the time...)

Short video of the first rocket going up!  Great fun :)
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Second one performs just as well!
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Nearing the end of our day, two more lovelies with their rockets ready to go.
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Up, up and AWAY!
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The winds started to die down and it was actually getting somewhat sunny out all of a sudden!
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It would have been perfect, for this young lady, if we had built "Rock Star" kits instead! LOL
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And her rock(et) star takes to the air!
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With her friend's not far behind
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Last 2 rockets of the day.
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Fast into the air, slow to return, but all made it back to the field (though some just outside the fence)
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Our last launch began with the loudest countdown of the day.  GOOD JOB EVERYBODY!
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WHEW!
The end of a long, fun, successful day at the rocket range, measured by the size of the pile of burnt igniters in my pocket!

It was a GOOD day!

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