Into the world of the TechEd rocket launch


Shritan Goki

Fourth Period TechEd Kids launching rocket on Rachel Carson Middle School Field.

Shritan Goki, Writer

“I love teaching tech ed,” said Mr. Al Anderson, technology education teacher, “because of how it feels to see the students look up in amazement as their rocket flies.”

Fourth-period tech ed students launched rockets on Nov. 19, outside on the RCMS field.

Tech ed planned their rocket launch for about two weeks. During these two weeks, students have been building and painting their rockets to prepare them for the launch.

“Students are most excited about flying their rockets,” said Mr. Anderson.

Students always get to keep their rockets after they fly them, so they can fly it whenever they want at home.

“The best thing about the rocket launch is seeing your rocket fly, because that gives you a feeling you accomplished something,” said Laks, 13, on the Majestics Team.

Tech ed has given students an opportunity to do something they never thought about doing.

Tech ed students ordered rocket sets, which included body tubes, nose cones, shock cords, engine mount kits and a parachute. Students then thoroughly read the instructions of how to build and assemble the rocket. Then they started to assemble the rocket.

“I gave them two weeks because I wanted them to get every single step perfect and not rush it,” said Mr.Anderson.

Students then spray painted their rocket the color of their choice, which they had to do at home. They partially built their rockets at home and during the in-class time they had.

“Once you spray paint, your rocket it looks like a real rocket,” said Laks.

“We have been launching rockets from a while now,” said Mr. Anderson.

Launching rockets is one of the many things kids like to do in tech ed. For many kids, the first time they launched a rocket is here at RCMS. Many students like tech ed and say it is one of their most favorite electives, because of the rocket launch and the labs. Rachel Carson has been making rockets for about ten years.

“When you are launching rockets, you feel kind of scared about what people are going to say if your rocket does not fly,” said Chinmay Savkar, 12, on the Dream Team.

If your rocket does not fly, Mr. Anderson will help you find the mistake, and assist you in fixing it. He will also let you come outside again and let you launch your rocket.

“The kids always feel amazing about the rocket launch,” said Mr. Anderson, “and to see their rocket fly is like a dream come true, because it makes them feel like they have done something that was successful and worth the time,” 

At first, many people did not understand how to fly the rocket, but as Mr. Anderson started explaining it, people understood the concept and ended up loving the project.

“As Mr. Anderson said the words ‘we are going to build our rockets and launch them,’ I was really happy, and was looking forward to doing so,” said Chinmay.

Many people at first thought it was going to be hard but Mr. Anderson taught them how to do it step-by-step over the two week time period.

Shritan Goki
Mr. Anderson teaching TechEd students how to launch a rocket

“My favorite part of the rocket launch is seeing the kids faces when the rocket goes up into the sky,” said Mr. Anderson. “They always look so excited.

Mr. Anderson’s favorite subject is science. He graduated with a bachelor degree in science from Rochester Institute of Technology. Mr. Anderson launched his first rocket in 1963, when he was a kid. Mr. Anderson used to be a teacher at Stone Middle School, but now teaches tech ed at RCMS. He switched careers ten years ago, and was a tech ed teacher ever since.

“The main reason I teach,” said Mr. Anderson, “is because I love to help kids learn and see the smiles on their faces,”