According to Newton’s Third Law, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
French Camp Elementary School students in Give Every Child a Chance’s STEM Education Program knew that thanks to Colton Randall.
He’s the STEM – Science Technology Engineering Mathematics – coordinator in charge of the model rocket exercise.
On Friday, Randall had students of the after-school program firing off their Estes rockets on this clear enough day.
How does Newton’s Third Law relate to the launching of this small-scaled rocket?
Randall noted that burning fuel creates a push on the front of the rocket, in turn, pushing it forward, and creating an equal and opposite push on the exhaust gas backwards.
“They also learned about safety precautions,” he added.
This was the second try at launching the student-decorated rockets. “We had bad weather on our last date,” said GECAC Director of Community Outreach Chuck Crutchfield.
The Estes model rockets and launch set were purchased via Amazon, Randall said.
In order for the launch to take place, he not only needed clear skies but the grass on the French Camp playground had to be green and few planes had to be hovering above the area – these model rockets were capable of soaring at above 800 feet, he said.
Most of the rockets blasted into the skies as planned.
But for third-grade student Atreyu Harris, the third time would be a charm.
His two previous rocket launches failed to take off – Randall had to wait about a minute or so before pulling the dud rockets off the launch set – but the youngster finally found success on his third try. The rocket shot into the blue skies and parachuted back to earth.
He reacted with a pleased and somewhat relieved smile before running off the playground and to the gym, joining the other students in the after-school program.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.