Exclusive Discounts up to 50% Off | Free Returns | Best Price Guaranteed

Rocket Launch

Exploration and experimentation are the two paths of discovery for children. Finding creative ways to interact with their environment is instinctual and they do this through art, science, and athletics.  Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has said of children, “kids are born scientists...they’re always doing things that are by-and-large destructive.”  Dr. Tyson also said, “I swore that when I had kids if they saw something they wanted to experiment with, even if they might break it, I would just let it go. Let the experiment run its course because therein is the soul of curiosity that leads to the kind of mind you would want as a scientist.”  I love this idea and I try my best to stand back (way back) when my two boys embark on a new experiment into the principle of entropy.

astronomy-explosion-flight-2166

 

 

Apollo-Insignia

Objective

Build an airworthy rocket

Successfully launch

Break the surly bonds of Earth with your young scientists

What you need

Plastic bottle

Cork

Air pump

Inflation needle

Cardboard

Strong tape

Cutting edge

Water

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

- Neil Armstrong

waypoints_template_vertical_line

Why Are We Doing This?

tina-floersch-qMOh-WZ9Z7I-unsplash

This waypoint is great because you can have fun with it regardless of your child’s age.

I fly for the U.S. Coast Guard. As with many families, my sons have become enthusiastic about my chosen profession. Every day they excitedly ask me if I flew airplanes today and if I’m going to fly an airplane tomorrow. Every. Damn. Day. 

I've had the privilege and luxury of being able to take them to work on numerous occasions where we climb all over the planes and helicopters. I answer the same 36 questions each time. As fun as all this is, they never really get to experience the up close, hands-on interaction of seeing an object ‘break the surly bonds of Earth.’ That is precisely what we're going  to do here.

tina-floersch-qMOh-WZ9Z7I-unsplash

 

Why Are We Doing This?

This waypoint is great because you can have fun with it regardless of your child’s age.

I fly for the U.S. Coast Guard. As with many families, my sons have become enthusiastic about my chosen profession. Every day they excitedly ask me if I flew airplanes today and if I’m going to fly an airplane tomorrow. Every. Damn. Day. 

I've had the privilege and luxury of being able to take them to work on numerous occasions where we climb all over the planes and helicopters. I answer the same 36 questions each time. As fun as all this is, they never really get to experience the up close, hands-on interaction of seeing an object ‘break the surly bonds of Earth.’ That is precisely what we're going  to do here.

L1220177-4

Step 1.

You’re going to need to resist the urge to take over completely.  Depending on your scientist’s age, interest level, and ability, you should try to let them do as much as possible while still producing a usable prototype.  

Your job is to build enthusiasm. Go all in.

Our mini me’s take their cues from our energy. This is the number 1 rule of Waypoint Execution. Kids read faces like human lie-detectors. They’ll know if you’re faking it. Seriously, they’re like dogs.

Step 1.

L1220177-4

You’re going to need to resist the urge to take over completely.  Depending on your scientist’s age, interest level, and ability, you should try to let them do as much as possible while still producing a usable prototype.  

Your job is to build enthusiasm. Go all in.

Our mini me’s take their cues from our energy. This is the number 1 rule of Waypoint Execution. Kids read faces like human lie-detectors. They’ll know if you’re faking it. Seriously, they’re like dogs.

Step 2: Prep Your Gear

Prep your materials before you corral the kiddos. I recommend cutting out the fins by yourself if your little ones are younger than 5. With the cutting piece finished, you won’t need the straight edge or anything sharp. From here, it’s all creativity, mistakes, laughter, and magic.

  1. 2-Liter soda bottle (really any size will do but this one is a proven model)
  2. Cork that fits snugly into the bottle opening
  3. Bicycle Pump (any air pump will work if you can connect it to an inflation needle)
  4. Sports ball inflation needle
  5. Small nail to create a hole in the cork
  6. Tap water (fill the bottle about ⅓)
  7. Cardboard or foam board (for the fins)
  8. A razor to cut the cardboard or foam board
  9. A clear area to launch the rocket
  10. Duct tape (any strong tape will work)
  11. Coloring apparatus (crayons, markers, stickers, etc.)
  12. Ruler (straight edge to measure & draw the fins)
rocket-waypoint-houston-cmd-ctr

Step 2: Prep Your Gear

rocket-waypoint-houston-cmd-ctr

Prep your materials before you corral the kiddos. I recommend cutting out the fins by yourself if your little ones are younger than 5. With the cutting piece finished, you won’t need the straight edge or anything sharp. From here, it’s all creativity, mistakes, laughter, and magic.

  1. 2-Liter soda bottle (really any size will do but this one is a proven model)
  2. Cork that fits snugly into the bottle opening
  3. Bicycle Pump (any air pump will work if you can connect it to an inflation needle)
  4. Sports ball inflation needle
  5. Small nail to create a hole in the cork
  6. Tap water (fill the bottle about ⅓)
  7. Cardboard or foam board (for the fins)
  8. A razor to cut the cardboard or foam board
  9. A clear area to launch the rocket
  10. Duct tape (any strong tape will work)
  11. Coloring apparatus (crayons, markers, stickers, etc.)
  12. Ruler (straight edge to measure & draw the fins)
rocket-waypoint-coloring
rocket-waypoint-usa-rocket

Step 3.

Aviation culture is very much about perception so you don’t want your neighbors seeing you launch ungarnished rockets. This is your chance to let your kids make it their own.

Break out the crayons, markers, stickers, and paint and customize your rocket.  There are no rules.

Step 3.

rocket-waypoint-usa-rocket

Aviation culture is very much about perception so you don’t want your neighbors seeing you launch ungarnished rockets. This is your chance to let your kids make it their own.

Break out the crayons, markers, stickers, and paint and customize your rocket.  There are no rules.

Step 4.

It’s time to attach them to the fuselage.

Tape them to the end of the bottle with the opening leaving enough hanging off the edge so that they can act as the feet that your rocket stands on during the launch sequence.

This is where the duct tape comes in (they don’t call it 100-mile-an-hour tape for nothin’).

Your job here is “tape-ripper and observer”; not resource manager so let them go crazy. In fact, the more tape, the sturdier your rocket will be.

With the fins in place, wad up some tape into a ball and tape it to the end opposite the bottle opening to act as your nosecone and landing cushion.

IMG_1818
L1220192-3

Step 4.

IMG_1818

It’s time to attach them to the fuselage.

Tape them to the end of the bottle with the opening leaving enough hanging off the edge so that they can act as the feet that your rocket stands on during the launch sequence.

This is where the duct tape comes in (they don’t call it 100-mile-an-hour tape for nothin’).

Your job here is “tape-ripper and observer”; not resource manager so let them go crazy. In fact, the more tape, the sturdier your rocket will be.

With the fins in place, wad up some tape into a ball and tape it to the end opposite the bottle opening to act as your nosecone and landing cushion.

L1220163-3
IMG_1819

Step 5.

Next, it’s time to create a hole in the cork so you can push the inflation needle through.

You won’t need a hammer but some pliers certainly might come in handy.

Leave the needle in the cork (this will get reused for each launch).

Now go outside, find an open space with no power lines nearby, do your best NASA countdown, and go Wile E Coyote on that air pump handle.

Step 5.

IMG_1819

Next, it’s time to create a hole in the cork so you can push the inflation needle through.

You won’t need a hammer but some pliers certainly might come in handy.

Leave the needle in the cork (this will get reused for each launch).

Now go outside, find an open space with no power lines nearby, do your best NASA countdown, and go Wile E Coyote on that air pump handle.

Need some inspiration?

Go build your Strong. Happy. Family.

waypoints_boy_hero_footer_2000x900
  • Sign up
Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.
We do not share your personal details with anyone.
0