Stanley Buccaneers rocketry members from left to right, Charlie Bergdall, Alex Whipple, Anna Qi, Levi Oestreich, Colin Oestreich and Isaiah Peters. Submitted photo
On July 14, the Stanley Buccaneers 4-H Club Rocketry project members met at Shawnee Mission Park for Launch Day – – to launch their rockets for the first time.
Launch Day is very exciting because it marks the halfway point of the project. After first selecting a rocket kit, they have sanded all the parts, assembled their rockets and primed the rocket with a basecoat of paint. According to many of the project members, sanding and assembling has been the hardest part so far. After Launch Day, they will apply the final coats of paint and apply the decals. Then the rocket is ready to exhibit at the Johnson County Fair.
Launch Day started with safety instructions from project leaders, Alex and Larry Whipple. Then, each member launched their rocket with Alex’s guidance. The rockets were all different sizes, so some went higher than others. The height record for the day was set by Charlie’s rocket that traveled 140 meters — which is about the same height as a 42-story building. During the launch, one of the rockets landed in a tree. Jeff from the maintenance staff at Shawnee Mission Park used a lift to retrieve the rocket in good condition.
This year, there are six members in the Rocketry project. This is the first year for Anna, Colin and Levi. Isaiah are all second-year members and Charlie is a third-year member. The Rocketry project is led by Alex, who has been in the project for eight years. He likes being the project leader because he enjoys helping the other members who share a common passion for rocketry; they also learn about basic engineering.
This year’s Rocketry project has been lots of fun. We’re sure to blast off again next year!