We have liftoff

Published 9:44 pm Monday, March 30, 2009

Many Isabella students know about rocket science, literally.

The entire class of 55 eighth graders shot rockets yesterday in a field by the school, putting what they learned in the classroom into action.

Science teacher Jay LeCroy said he hopes activities like this inspire his students to work at a further understanding of science. He even wishes some will want to pursue careers dealing with science.

“Hopefully, we might have some future NASA engineers out here,” he said.

The students have now completed the physics portion of their eighth grade science classes. LeCroy wanted to give his students a way to apply what they learned in the classroom.

So the four science classes built rockets and then launched them using engines that students’ families were asked to help purchase.

Some used small rockets that shot thousands of feet in the air while other taller rockets went several hundred feet. Some rockets were wide while others were slender.

LeCroy said the students were graded on the project. A passing grade was given if the rocket successfully launched off the pad. If they blew up on the pad or didn’t launch, the students could make repairs and attempt another launch.

Aaron Ratliff tried to shoot one that had three engines in it.

He designed a rocket that looked more like a jet. He got some help from classmates to ignite the engines all at once.

The most launched rocket belonged to Deonte Campbell who shot his at least 10 times, and each was just as successful as the first.

While the students launched the rockets, several other classes watched the experiment from the school parking lot.

Overall, LeCroy thought the event was a success as most every student had a successful launch.