There were no phone calls reported from Cascade to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), but there were still plenty of rockets in the morning skies above the American Legion Park Sept. 20.
The only “invasion” taking place at the field, though, was the staff and students from Cascade Elementary, as they took part in or watched the aerospace efforts of Ben Urbain’s and Nate Meyer’s sixth-graders launching their class-made rockets.
“It is our kickoff to science in sixth grade,” said Urbain. “It is a great way to capture students’ interest and attention to begin a new school year.”
The students are learning about astronomer Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton, focusing on Newton’s laws of motion and gravity. The students spent about four hours designing and engineering their rockets, and Urbain said some even worked outside of class, due to the excitement.
The students used anywhere from 270-500 milligrams of water in a standard two-liter bottle and were able to make adjustments after a practice run Sept. 18. The bottles may have begun as “standard,’’ but the students were able to use their creativity to customize their creations.
Madelyn Giese and Alyssa Clarkson teamed up to create and launch “Rodeo Rockstar,” complete with eyes and western-print adornments.
Giese was pleased with their results, saying, “I think it went really high because when we practiced it went low. I think it went higher than last time.”
She said she enjoys learning about science this way and might be interested in a career in the scientific field. “I always wanted to be, like, doing my own experiments when I grow up.”
Clarkson explained the rocket’s one-of-a-kind deco. “I brought all this stuff from my house and I thought it would be cool to decorate it.”
With the rest of their classmates cheering them on, the student groups launched their rockets one-by-one — with the help of Mr. Urbain — and while it certainly sounded like they were having fun, the education they were getting in the process was silent.