Rocketry club blasts off this season


Brooke Boyer, Editor-in-chief

Rocketry club is in the midst of their second season at the school. The club was started last spring by current seniors Benjamin Ferlo and Benjamin Wyss and chemistry teacher Andrew Kipp.
“It was originally my idea to start the club junior year when I cleaned out my bedroom closet and found a rocket kit my mom bought for me 8th grade year,” Ferlo said.
He worked alongside Wyss and Kipp to get approval from the school board and to find sponsors.
“The school approval process went smoothly, but we had to plan out our own meetings, organize materials, and create presentations,” Wyss said.
Gifted teacher Pam Gov gave initial funding for the club. Other funding came from some money earned from Battle of the Brains competition last year.
Rocketry club currently has about a dozen students, the same amount they ended with last year.
They meet every two weeks on Tuesday and Thursday during the second semester. According to Ferlo, this time of year is the most adequate season for rocket launching.
The meetings are about an hour long and consist of the student’s manufacturing and building their rockets independently.
“The rockets are pretty easy to assemble,” Wyss said. “Anyone can do it.”
The rockets come in kits that are provided by the sponsors. If the students have any questions or have trouble engineering their rockets, the leadership of the club is always there to assist.
“Launch days are always the most fun,” Wyss said.
The club uses a drone to record the footage that the rocket reaches
“Everyone tries to run off and grab the rockets when they fall back to Earth; it is just a fun and exciting time for everyone,” Wyss said.
The rockets are about 20cm long, 3cm in diameter and typically weigh about 30 grams.
They consist of engines that deliver about 17 Newton-seconds of force and burn for around 1.9 seconds. This gives an average acceleration of around 880 m/s, with a max height of 1,700 meters. When accounting for air resistance, the number will be slightly smaller for max height.
The club does not participate in any competitions simply because they are the only rocket club in this area.
The leaderships encourages any and all students to consider joining the club, even if they have not had any experience with rocket building. According to Wyss, he had no prior knowledge to the activity until he became an official member.
“I recommend students joining rocketry club if they want to learn something new or develop their rocketry skills in a fun and welcoming environment,” Wyss said.