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Actually, it IS rocket science

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Physics students compete for highest launch

By Phyllis McLaughlin

The Trimble Banner

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Their mission seemed simple: Design a rocket out of plastic 2-liter soda bottles and other materials that can be fueled by water and air pressure and launched at least 150 feet into the air.

It wasn’t as simple as it seemed, but most of the students in Angela Pacheco’s advanced physics class were able to meet the challenge on the Raider athletic fields Thursday, Oct. 22.

In fact, one team managed to beat the school record, launching their rocket more than 250 feet.

For the grade, students earearned up to 20 points for modifications, 40 points for design and 40 points for the flight record, for a total of 100.

Historically, rockets are believed to have been invented by the Chinese in the 11th century and used to repel invaders, such as the Mongols. But, only in the past 300 years have experimentors understood the science behind it, which was put into motion by Sir Isaac Newton in a book published in 1687.

The parts of a rocket are the nose cone, fins, body and engine, and the forces dictating rocketry are thrust, gravity and drag.

In the advance physics class, Daryl Heveline had the best results with his rocket reaching 271 feet. Allison Joyce and Sara Cooley took second place with their rocket, which reached 258 feet.

In Pacheco’s sixth-period physical science class, Alvin Seals and Brandon Melvin took first place for launching their rocket 248 feet.

In her seventh-period physical science, Danyal Adams tied for first place with Kenny Sellers and Jacob Mounce with a 243-foot launch.ned up to 20 points for modifications, 40 points for design and 40 points for the flight record, for a total of 100.