Over 70 build rockets for Family Fun Night
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:00 AM
More than 70 people participated in a Family Science Fun Night at Philadelphia Elementary School where parents and their kids built and launched stomp rockets.
Tavaurian King launches his rocket while his family and friends watch.
The event featured parents and their kids building rockets out of construction paper and tape.
Robin McClellan, a fifth grade science teacher at Philadelphia Elementary School, started the event in October 2012 as a tie-in to a lesson about space travel and Newton's Laws of Physics.
"It kind-of caught wind and as soon as school started they were asking if we were going to do it," she said.
The event wasn't just for students. The fifth grade students participated along with their parents and siblings with many of them competing to see who could create the better rocket.
Over 70 people showed up to participate. Each person created a stomp rocket, which uses air pressure from a pump to launch upwards.
Last year saw 68 people participate.
The only thing different from last year was the inclusion of snacks.
"We've got rocket fuel [water] and asteroids [Cheese Puffs]," she said. "I've also made little prizes, cups shaped like rockets filled with candies."
The prizes, she added, were for whoever's rocket was launched the furthest.
Each rocket is made by wrapping paper around a tube and taping it together. Then a nose cone and fins are tapped to the side.
"[What makes it go farther] depends on how well the rockets are put together. Did they tape it just right? Did they fold the cone just right?" McClellan said. "Sometimes if the top is not done correctly then it will just blow off without going anywhere."
Monica King was one of the parents at the event. She was there with her two sons: Jaylan and Tavaurian.
Even though she said it wasn't hard to put a rocket together she thought her son Tavaurian's would go farther.
Tavaurian named his rocket "Iron Man the Movie" while Monica named hers "Marvelous Monica."
After the main experiment McClellan said that later the students will try out their rockets using different angled connectors to see in there is any difference.
"They're going to be scientists and do their experiments and work it out," she said.
The experiment ties into the lesson on motion, force and Newton's Laws.
"They have to know Newton's Laws and be able to apply them," she said.
McClellan has previously stated her view that as a teacher it is important to keep classroom lessons interesting.
"They've got technology to keep them interested at home so we need to make them want to come to school," she said last school year.
Besides getting kids interested in science, McClellan also wanted to get the parents more involved as well.
"Parents need to spend time with their kids," she said, noting that after last year's event she asked the ids what they liked the best and spending time with their parents was the most popular.
"We [parents] tend to get busy and don't do stuff like that with our kids anymore."
The success of this event has led McClelland to consider similar events for other lessons.
They've already set up for someone to bring over high powered telescopes for the kids to use.
Once all the rockets were built it was time to launch them. Each student placed their rocket at the end of the launcher.
At the count of three all the rockets were launched and students watched in amazement as their rockets sailed through the air and embedded themselves in the ground, some over 50 feet away.
"It was fun," said Jim Wolverton, a parent whose rocket "Wolfman" was one of the farthest launched. "If I made another one it could've gone farther."