Ted (and crew) goes to Westwood (again!) (6/8/2001)
Westwood Elementary School Build and Fly
year, the fourth grade classes at Westwood Elementary school build
and fly model rockets. For three years, MASA volunteers have
helped. This year, Mike Kutzke, Steve Robb, and Ted Cochran
helped the kids build their rockets on Wednesday, May 23. The
kids were divided up into teams of three, and we had two classes at
a time, for an hour each, to get the rocket ready to fly.
It was a blast, and we all learned something new. For
example, in the instructions for the Generic E2X, in the picture
showing how to make a shock cord mount, the shock cord really does
look sort of like a launch lug!
rockets having been successfully built, launch day arrived on May
31. Steve, Mike, and Ted arrived early to set up the
range. The kids arrived at 2:00, and after a discussion of
range safety, we started to prep and fly rockets in groups of
6. For most of the day, Steve worked the safety check in and
wadding station, Mike worked the motor installation station, and Ted
was LCO and pad manager. Every kid was appointed Deputy RSO,
and they gleefully yelled "HOLD!" at the sight of an
airplane (and in at least one case, a bird!). The classes were
timing the flights of the rockets and had come with preconstructed
bar graphs for the times. The very first flight was 25 seconds
long, and there was a momentary delay while the kids changed all the
graphs from 0-30 seconds in one second increments to 0-60 seconds in
two second increments. Naturally, the first flight was the
longest of the day.
launches went well. There was just one DQ, for
separation. There was one rod lock, and a couple of lost
continuities. The modern 40th anniversary Alpha was launched
during a brief lull in team launches, and there was a demonstration
of the effect of total impulse (two Quest UFOs on B and C
motors, and Steve's lampshade on an F). Mike ended the launch
with a demonstration of his Seeker on a composite D motor.
Awards were handed out, and the kids left happily, bringing
our seeding of another crop of potential MASA members to a close.