Rocket Team Does Well In First Competition - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/25/05 - Central Heights

Rocket Team Does Well In First Competition

by Donna McCollum

Central Heights High School formed a new rocketry team. You could call it beginner's luck, or results of lots of hard work and perseverance. The team placed 15th out of more than 700 teams in the American Rocketry Challenge held this week in Virginia.

When the team returned it wanted to show off. But they know in science, you never know success until it happens. First launch was a dud. They all agreed, "We should try this one more time." This rocket team learns a lot from trial and error said team captain, T.J. Weaver. "We learned a lot of new things. Aerodynamics, teamwork, friendship, successes better than failures." And better than launch 2. Another dud. They try again keeping a sense of humor all the way. Team member Clinton Trimble joked, "This is awesome. We have like half the school...all 80 of us."

Each time trouble shooting is left to the students. Even if it leads to unconventional but innovative ideas. Science teacher Mary Marshall grimaced as she watched her students test for a power current with their tongues. "The more you can get a kid working on their own and developing things on their own the more confidence they're gonna have in their abilities and the more success they're gonna be."

Like medals in a national competition...and a launch that follows the adage, 'third time is the charm'. The third launch was a success with the rocket soaring to the clouds out of sight. After a minute or two it reappears with a tiny pink parachute attached.

Three seniors are graduating from the Central Heights rocketry team, but new members are standing in the wings. Next year there will be a senior and junior team with their goals set high in the sky.

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