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By Renee Bettendorf
BOYCEVILLE- High Road Aviation, an airport restoration business located at the Boyceville airport and the Boyceville Airport Booster Club (BABC) hosted a model rocket build and launch program for area youth last week.
About 16 kids ranging in age from first graders to seniors in high school participated in the two session program. During the first session each participant built a model rocket from a kit with help from BABC members. The rockets were launched a couple days later at the airport.
“We’ve been talking about starting a rocket program for about a year,” said Joel Timblin, owner of High Road Aviation and a member of BABC.
Each kit included all the makings of a cardboard and wood model rocket which were assembled using tape and glue. High Road Aviation donated the kits and supplies.
After the rockets were built and while they were waiting for the glue to dry, the kids were treated to a presentation about rockets.
The rocket presentation was conducted by Aaron Sand via zoom. Sand is employed at the aerospace company, Lockheed Martin where he works on weather satellites and rockets. While snacking on rice krispie bars and drinking juice boxes, the kids were encouraged to ask Sand questions.
How fast rockets go, why launch pads are flooded with water and how some rockets have the ability to self-destruct were just a few of the topics covered during Sand’s presentation.
On Saturday all 16 participants and many of their family members showed up at the airport for launch day. Several BABC members were on hand to help the kids launch their rockets safely. After setting up the launch site, rolling out wires to the launch controller and going over safety information the kids took turns launching their rockets.
Most people attending the launch were surprised by how high the rockets went. Many of the rockets went out of sight for several seconds before dropping back to the ground.
After the launch, over pizza and ice cream, Timblin led a discussion with the participants about what they learned while building and launching their rockets. He said the BABC has plans to organize and fund future model rocket programs.
“The booster club really embraced it,” said Timblin of the model rocket program.
The BABC has been around for 52 years. About eight years ago they became a non-profit and since then youth programming has been one of their main goals. Currently the club has about 50 members with many younger people having joined in the last few years.