Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 16, 2013

Verity students have a blast with science

Seventh-graders fire off rockets they made

ASHLAND — The threatening clouds over Putnam Stadium proved an ideal test of teamwork as groups of seventh-graders rushed to launch their pop-bottle rockets Thursday before the rain came down.

It was a launch date planned since last autumn and widely anticipated among the Verity middle schoolers, who have been studying rockets and the physics behind them for weeks.

In groups of three to five, they brought missiles, which they cobbled together themselves from two-liter pop bottles and fins made of paper, to the field, filled them with water, then set them on prepositioned launch pads where they were pressurized with compressed air.

A simple rope-activated triggering device launched the rockets, which leapt into the air amid showers of water droplets and the cheers of the assembled students.

Duties were carefully divided among teammates, some responsible for loading, others for positioning on the pad and still others for tracking and calculating launch altitude.

The exercise and preceding classroom work combined science and teamwork, said faculty leaders Jerry Whelan and Cathy Hall.

The students had instructions on how to build rockets and simple tracking instruments, but had to do the work themselves. That meant researching aeronautical principles and brushing up on the trigonometry necessary for calculating altitude.

It also required innovation, as in the case of one builder who lost an essential washer that was to be part of the tracker. His solution, a lifesaver candy, was sticky but doable, Whelan said.

“He had to do it himself. I told him I wasn’t going to do it for him,” Whelan said.

“There was a lot of problem solving,” Hall said.

Then they had to work together to get the rocket launch-ready and into the sky. The entire experience mirrored a real rocket launch, in which scores of scientists and technicians work together to put machines into space.

The exercise was a dry run — or more literally a wet run — for another launch of rockets with commercially- available hobby engines.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Crime victims’ group to host conference

    Kentucky Voices for Victims of Crime, an advocacy organization for those who have suffered at the hands of criminals, will have its annual memorial conference next week.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Boyd FFA to have test drive fundraiser

    The Boyd County FFA Chapter will have a test-drive fundraiser at Superior Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Ashland from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday to raise money for the National FFA Organization in support of local FFA chapter leadership programs.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • newwendy1.jpg Ashland woman develops pregnancy journals for mom, dad

    An Ashland woman has a way of helping parents everywhere.
    Wendy Sparks, 47, wrote The journals, which are for parents to keep for themselves and their children during pregnancy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0420eggs0051.jpg Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.
     

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Sheriff candidates ready for election

    With no incumbent in the Boyd County Sheriff’s race, Republican and Democrat candidates for the post will square off in their respective primaries next month.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0148.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014