Students’ rockets seek survival

The rockets were flying at St. Louise School on Tuesday, May 27. A total of 51 students worked in small groups to design, build and launch 12 water bottle rockets.

The rockets were flying at St. Louise School on Tuesday, May 27. A total of 51 students worked in small groups to design, build and launch 12 water bottle rockets.

In addition to launching their rockets, students also had to devise a safe landing for 12 egg “astronauts.”

The farthest distance achieved was 75.5 meters, the highest altitude was approximately 48.5 meters and three of the 12 “astronauts” survived.

Although no single rocket accomplished all of the goals (highest altitude, farthest distance and “astronaut” survival), the students have concluded that several design features contributed to the success or failure of the rockets, according to Mary Herridge of St. Louise School.

“They are in the process of creating booklets which recap the various aspects of the project and are certain that if they were to build another rocket, they would overcome some of the failings of their first attempts,” she said.

One of the interesting aspects of the launch was the one rocket design that included a separating parachute piece that worked like a charm, Herridge said.

“Shortly after launch, separation occurred and the ‘astronaut’ safely drifted to the ground. Although a great distance was not achieved, the ‘astronaut’ survived,” she said.