Lanigan’s Rocket Launch and Flight Fair a Real Blast

“Mission Control to Cape Canaveral Launch… give me a thumbs up for launch.” Sixth grade students from Lanigan Elementary School had a blast recently with the annual Rocket Launch at the school.

Taylor Babbitt places her rocket onto the launch pad during the recent Lanigan Elementary School Rocket Launch and Flight Fair. The evening launch and flight fair allowed parents, family, neighbors and friends to view the rocket launch at the school.

Parents, family, and friends were invited to an evening launch and Flight Fair at the school where nearly forty rockets were launched in front of the crowd. Mr. Meeker, aka mission control, did a pre-flight check with each launcher before the crowd assisted with the countdown, 3…, 2…, 1… blast off!

As each rocket burst into the sky and the parachute deployed, the rocket launchers raced after their rocket as it floated to the ground. Several students were able to catch their rocket ship before it hit the ground to the cheers of the onlookers.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day since I was in Kindergarten,” one student said.

3…, 2…, 1…, Blast Off! Maya Ende watches as her rocket blasts off from the launch pad during the Lanigan Elementary School Rocket Launch. Sixth grade teacher Harry Meeker, on top of the playground equipment with a bull horn, served as “Mission Control” for the launches.

The Lanigan teachers added a new aspect to the rocket launch to include parents and further expand on the students’ knowledge of the science project: a Flight Fair. The Flight Fair was held in the gymnasium at the school and included experiments regarding motion including: propulsion, velocity, resistance, aerodynamics and more.

The students had experiment stations set up around the room and visitors could view posters with the students’ hypothesis, procedure and conclusion as well as witness the experiment first-hand.

Kay-Lee O’Brien, left and Adam DeMauro demonstrate their experiment which shows how the cans will spin because of the propulsion of water from holes in the sides of the can.

Teams of two-four students explained and demonstrated the scientific experiments to family and friends.

Lanigan’s sixth grade teachers coordinate the rocketry project each year in conjunction with the study of the forces of motion.

The students built the rockets using kits from the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES Science Center and the experience introduced the students to the forces of motion as well as gave them an opportunity to learn about electricity and aerodynamics.