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Young Rocket Scientists Have Test Flights

October 01, 2004|By Mary O'Keefe

Jet Propulsion Laboratory is not the only place you will find scientist with their eyes to the sky. Last Sunday at Dunsmore Elementary School, future rocket scientists from Cub Scout Pack 360 created and then tested their rocket ships to the moon. Maybe not exactly to the moon but some did fly as high as 150 feet.

This was the annual Rocket Day for the Cub Scout pack based at Dunsmore and Valley View elementary schools. They invited Cub Scout Pack 310 from Fremont and La Crescenta elementary schools to join in the fun. Cub Scouts are boys in first to fifth grades.

"The Cub Scouts try to do one event a month," said event chairperson Janice Ghoslin.

At this event, they designed and constructed their rockets out of construction paper fitted over a 2-liter bottle. Each rocket bottle was filled with a little water and placed on an air pressure machine. A piece of long string was tied to a block of wood. The Cub Scout held one end of the string and the block of wood held the bottle in place until the proper pressure of 40 to 60 pounds was reached. Then the Scout pulled the string to launch the rocket.

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"We get lots of JPL dads to help," said Cub Scout Leader Jay Myers. The boys learned about aerodynamics and design, but primarily they just had fun. September is recruiting month, said Myers, who added that the local Boy Scout troops have been losing members lately. Events like this are important to show boys how exciting and valuable scouting is.

All the participants launched their rockets, repaired them and launched them again.

"Mine self-destructed," said Cub Scout John Myres of what was left of his rocket. Undaunted, he picked up more construction paper and began rebuilding. That is the Cub Scout way.

If you have any questions about scouting or joining a pack contact leader Jay Myers at 249-4910.

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