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Having missed pictures the first 2 weeks (my bad), we join t he advanced class well into their designs
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Tools you rarely see youth rocketry classes using.  A graphing calculator helping him optimized the provided balsa sheet for the largest fins, based on the fin shape he designed.
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With designs nearly complete, some begin cutting fins while others create their full size fin patterns and/or tweak their designs.
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A creative bunch, that's for sure!  The only thing missing from this design, at the moment, is the parts list and full size fin patterns.
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Cracking open the math book to verify the work he is doing on his calculator.  THIS is ROCKET DESIGNING!
Next up is our beginner class building the Rhino kit!
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With the engine mounts assembled the kids learn about the "Double Glue" method of attaching fins.
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With one fin attached, we move on to the parachute assembly while waiting for things to dry.
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It's wonderful to see the look of understanding in their eyes as they complete a sub-assembly.
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Saying this more and more often.  There's ONE in every crowd.... LOL
Our most recent week (I'm actually up to date on pictures!) as we continue work in the advanced class
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With designs finalized, the kids begin laying out their fins and cutting/shaping them.
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Some use tube fins, so we have lessons on cutting tubes.
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A bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.  He had 2 of these tube fins come out a tad short, so he re-cut them with excess body tube material.
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With fins cut, we move on to the parrachute.
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One thing that I noticed about the advanced class is that they ALWAYS have their head down, concentrating on their work!
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Like I said... 
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A careful hand and a sharp eye (along with sharp tools) results in beautiful fins!
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This one design has heavily curved fins.  Another opportunity to teach important techniques.
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After cutting, we use sandpaper wrapped around a tube coupler to sand and clean the inside curve of all 3 fins.
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Next, with all edges flat and even, we set the fin down on the work surface and gently sand UP to finalize the points without damaging them.
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3 nearly perfect fins!  We will do a finish sanding on the points after they have been attached to the rocket.
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Two perfect sets of fins.  One for the rear (large fins) and one set for the mid-body position.
The beginner class finishes the main assembly this week.  This will allow us to begin painting next week!
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To make best use of our hour (actually, 75 min), we start right off with the Double Glue method on all remaining fins.
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With fins drying, we are then able to complete our parachutes, assemble our shock cord mount and other sundry items to complete our build.  This young lady chose a 5 fin design, using a spare fin from someone who went with the 3-fin approach.
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With the assembly virtually complete (only thing left is inserting the shock cord mount (next week)), we apply glue filets while focusing on puzzles and brain teasers on the board.
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Now THIS is a sign of a very productive rocket building session!
Next week we complete the assembly of the advanced rockets and begin painting the beginner models!  Such Fun!
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A great deal of focus going into getting the fins just right
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Adding a little flare to a fin with the glorious tooth pick accessory.  What's with the sting-eye???  LOL
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I love the care that is going into these builds!
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With all the design work, we want to make sure the assembly goes as planned!
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After a scaling error, we are re-drawing the fin pattern
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Looking great!, nearly complete.
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Cutting out new fins.  Along side the body tube you can see the correct size fins.  Just below and to the left of them you can see one of the original (much smaller) fins (the result of an error in scaling)  All fixed now, though!
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The beginner class has begun painting their Rhino's!
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We don't have time to seal the balsa, but we're having a ball adding color!
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I love how the Rhino design allows the kids to really explore some neat fin configurations.  We have 3, 4, 5, & 6 fin designs and fins going every which way!
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Going with a clean, white base.  What's with the stink-eye again!  jeeze... LOL
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Looking good!  Base coat is done, now on to some detail work.
Next week we finish the last little bits on the advanced rockets and may even be able to add some color.  The beginners will finish painting, and adding some details color to their models.
Due to a snow storm, schools were closed for the Advanced class so they will finish construction next week and fly the week after.
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This week we finish up our painting and get set to fly!
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The kids had a ball experimenting with masking and other interesting effects.
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This young man had already built a Rhino so we had him build a Triskelion this time.
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Busy hands are happy hands!
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This is what a herd of Rhino's looks like :)
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Or, perhaps a crop of Rhino's...
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Group shot.  I shoulda gotten those other models out of the way....
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A box-o-fun!  Next stop, the launch field!
LAUNCH DAY
Beginners

Advanced class completes assembly of their models and will launch next week.

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Learning the fin art of laminating fins with paper
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Employing the "double glue" method of attaching fins.
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Creative tube fins make for an interesting design
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Love it!  The creativity in a design class is incredible
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Looking sharp now, but will look even better with the 6 small triangular fins glued between each tube joint.
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3 of our 4 advanced students show off their handiwork!
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The launch field is set up as I await the arrival of the beginner class.
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This young lady had to leave early, so we quickly got her prepped and on the pad for our first launch.
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Picture perfect on the way up...
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And back down too!
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We then took our obligatory group shot.  Always do this FIRST!  Rocketeers are much happier BEFORE you begin loosing rockets... LOL
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With parachutes prepared and packed, we move on to our motors
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Most are new to this activity, though some have explored rocketry in the past.
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With the group now ready to fly, we begin!
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I missed the launch shot, but got a good recovery picture!
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Hooking up the igniter leads.  We only ran one pad as the second pad experienced electrical as well as mechanical problems that I will have to work on later...
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Doing the rocketeer happy dance!
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And, for good reason too!
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Looking good!
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Looking better!
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Ahhh, looking best!
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Really, folks.  It wasn't THAT cold out.  Just looks that way...
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Another successful flight!
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If you're happy, and you know it, launch a rocket!
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Nice shot looking back at the launch table.  The RSO, as it were, is at the far right (near my coffee cup... :) )
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Focused on the task at hand
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Nice!
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And we have LIFT OFF!
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Perfect recovery
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These kids did a great job on these models!
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There be Rhino's in the air!
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I think he is taking video of the landing.  Would love to see what he got!
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Cast and all, he completes the work just like every body else!
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Proudly posing with his creatino!
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WHOOSH!
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For some reason we couldn't convince him to go running after it!  So he enlisted a buddy to go get his model.
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I swear, this Triskelion had all the fin tips on when he got to the field...  Really, it did!
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Still though, she flies just fine without 'em!
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Good color to help find your rockets!
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Up, up and AWAY!
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The white fins should make for an interesting launch photo against the white sky...
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Yep!  Looks like a finless Rhino...
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Our outfield in motion!
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Stripes are the thing!
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Good show!
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Now, this enthusiastic crowd wound up breaking two of his fins!  I warned them about that at the beginning...  Oh well, as I explained, you glued the fin on, you can glue it BACK on! :)
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Look, a rocket!
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Look, it's a bird, it's a plane, no... I just told you, it's a rocket!
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A great ending to a great day of flying!  I hope you all had fun!
Next week the advanced class launches their creations.  The beginner class will also meet one last time (it's our rain date) and we will spend our hour talking rockets and describing the follow-on beginner session beginning the week after.
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Set up for the advanced class.  We only have 4 rockets to fly so I went with a tripod launch pad.
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Our intrepid Advanced Class of rocketeers!  Their first ever model rocket design is about to meet with the ultimate test!
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Fist up!  Brave soul that he is bwahahahaha
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Very kewl design here.  All of the designs were incredible!
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And we have LIFTOFF!  Perfect flight, up and down!  I had the kids reef the chutes as we had a very windy day
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Next up, our only painted rocket!  Another cool design with sloped tube fins.
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Here you can see the effects of the wind.  No real issues though.  Perfect boost and recovery.  Great job!
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Even on a B motor, these models got great altitude!
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The largest rocket in this fleet, standing over 3 feet tall with some very interesting fins!
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Perfect boost!  Recovery was a bit too close to the trees, however, as you will see shortly...
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Last to go, a very unique reverse fin design that is very sharp looking!
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And she flies as well as she looks!  Perfect, start to finish!
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Now, about that tree....  It wasn't so much the parachute as the FIN that grabbed a branch...
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This close up shows the rocket AND an interesting surprise....  Look to the left, just above center and you will see a nose cone from someone else's rocket decorating that tree.  Like the discarded bones of this trees last rocketry meal...
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A close up shows how the fin latched on to the branch
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By the time I had cleaned up from the launch, you can see the wind attempting to pull the model down.  I am very confident that we will get her back and will check several times this week.
That concludes our winter session with ASD!  We begin our Spring session in less than a week, so back to work!

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