Sixth graders at Volney Elementary School successfully launched 60 rockets into a beautiful blue sky on a Thursday afternoon.
The launching was the culminating activity of a science unit that encompassed Newton’s Laws, aerodynamics, aerospace engineering, the history of the Space Race and an in-depth study of President Kennedy’s 1962 Rice University speech.
An estimated 300 students, parents and guests silently listened in the sunlight as a recording of JFK’s Rice speech echoed through the summer-like air.
With the crowd starting a NASA countdown from 10, two Estes rockets shot 350 feet into the sky, and it was “go time” at Volney Elementary.
After an hour of cheering and trying to catch rockets before they parachuted to the ground, students were all smiling proudly after seeing their hard work come to fruition.
Sixth grade science teacher Bill Cahill said, “There is some great curriculum involved with this project, but hopefully we are also inspiring and igniting a passion in these kids to pursue a field of work that may benefit our planet as the Apollo missions did. It is quite possible that some of these students may go on to work on a mission to reach Mars; the first person to walk on Mars may very well be out here chasing rockets today, and that’s a pretty exciting thought.”
The Volney sixth grade teachers are Cahill, Stephanie Zimmerman and Dan Bartlett.