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Rocket Making 101

So you are thinking you want to make a rocket…. or maybe not you, but you have an elementary-school aged child who has made rockets, or seen rockets, or dreamed about rockets….and you have no idea where to start. This was the story of my life about a month ago, when my almost 9-year-old child decided he needed to have rockets for his birthday party. He had done rockets at College Gate summer camp. I had seen rockets, and even been part of programs where rockets were made, but had never been fully in charge of rocket making. So where to start?

For me, I started with a colleague of mine who has spent many hours building and launching rockets. His rockets can be bigger than an average-sized adult, and can require permits and miles of field to launch them successfully. He quickly directed me to Estes rockets, and a number of potential kits that claim they are good for kids and relatively easy to launch. Some of those links are included below:

So I ordered 10 of those, but then I realized that I also needed a bunch of other supplies that were not included. These included: recovery wadding (needs to be stuffed in to the rocket cone); model rocket engines (make sure you buy ones that fit in to the rocket; most model rockets will provide this information on the packaging); starters (still not sure what this is, but you can buy them on Amazon or in Hobby lobby); and a launch system.

FYI: A launch system is apparently the launching rod, launching pad, and electronic controls that you can use to launch. Most everything that you need is available from Amazon, and many things are likely available in your local Hobby Lobby or other hobby supply store.

How well did it work? Check out our video (CLICK HERE)

Share any rocket tips and stories in the comments below!

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