For the second time in the 2017-18 school year, the main campus of the Chimacum School District allowed aspiring rocketeers to fire their homemade aircraft into the sky.Just as Chimacum Middle School …
For the second time in the 2017-18 school year, the main campus of the Chimacum School District allowed aspiring rocketeers to fire their homemade aircraft into the sky.
Just as Chimacum Middle School students assembled and blasted off their construction paper, duct tape and soda bottle rockets Oct. 5 of last year, so did two waves of the multi-grade Chimacum Pi Program do much the same June 7-8.
Pi teacher Thaddeus Jurczynski explained 17 K-5 students took part in the June 7 launch, while 13 students in grades sixth through eighth followed suit June 8.
“The second-graders and older were actually building and launching the rockets,” Jurczynski said. “The kids worked in cooperative teams, with each team member being assigned a specific task.”
Jurczynski established a materials depot, and allotted 100 credits to each team, to spend on materials for their rockets.
“Each group also got the same amounts of pressure — 60 pounds per square inch — and water relative to the size of bottle they were using,” Jurczynski said. “So, what really made the difference was the variety of designs they come up with, the materials they choose, and how well constructed they were.”
According to Jurczynski, the successive days of rocket launches afforded students the opportunity to analyze data collected during the original launch, and use those findings to help rebuild their rockets for the second launch.
“We measured time spent in the air,” Jurczynski said. “The best elementary school student time was 7 seconds, and the best middle school student time was 8.2 seconds.”
Jurczynski reported hearing his students describe the experiment as “fun” and “awesome,” with one student insisting, “We need to have a class just on basic aerodynamics!”
The Pi Program has already incorporated hands-on lessons on scaly critters Dec. 14 of last year, thanks to the Lizardopolis program conducted by Port Townsend High School senior Lauren Taracka, and the combination of science lessons with art projects, as conducted by Jurczynski himself, and reported by The Leader in 2016.
The Pi Program is currently accepting applications for grades K-12.
If interested, call the school at 360-302-5946.