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Last updated: June 8, 2001
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Ted (and crew) goes to Westwood (again!) (6/8/2001)

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Westwood Elementary School Build and Fly

Mike Kutzke demonstrates how to tie a shock cord to a nose cone (without tying a knot)Every 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!
Power, Scotty--er, Steve!  I need more power!The 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.

Ready to go!

Wadding, Mike!  I need more wadding!The 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.

(Ted Cochran)

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