Engineering students construct rockets

Students+watch+as+the+rocket+successfully+shoots+into+the+air.+

Caleb Smithee

Students watch as the rocket successfully shoots into the air.

Last Friday Tonya Wheat and her engineering classes launched rockets that were hand-made by the students. The experiment tested their construction skills and knowledge of engineering concepts.

“We have been working for about a month on designing some rockets,” Wheat said. “They are powered by small engines, and the students have had to construct them from point A to point B.”

We first started off with learning how to do so by watching tutorials. After we got the hang of it, we got our kit, and we built it from the ground up.”

— Alex Alonso

The experiment took place in Wheat’s first, second and third periods. The students started by designing the rockets on the programs AutoCAD and Inventor. Copper paper, plastic, pre-made parachutes, electrical nodes and other materials were used in constructing the rockets.

“We first started off with learning how to do so by watching tutorials,” sophomore Alex Alonso said. “After we got the hang of it, we got our kit, and we built it from the ground up.”

Over a period of a month, each student took time to construct the pieces of their rocket with the materials supplied. If any mechanism in the rocket did not function, the launch would not be successful.

“I enjoyed creating these rockets together with my classmates,” junior Vadym Pidoshva said. “It was pretty fun. I [also] enjoyed learning about the parts of the rockets and stuff like that.”

Wheat and students measured the height at which the rockets launched to, and the time it took for them to reach the ground. The experiment was the idea of CTE director Brent Berryman, who taught Concepts of Engineering before Wheat.

“A lot of the students will take my next class, or another engineering class,” Wheat said. “[This information] helps them with those classes. I even have one student who is taking some classes at NASA, and he has learned a lot about engineering through that program and ours.’