Education

Irwin Fifth Graders Become Rocket Scientists For A Day

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Credits: Rob Rakossy
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Credits: Rob Rakossy
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Credits: Rob Rakossy
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Credits: Rob Rakossy
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Credits: JoAnn Chmielowicz
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Credits: JoAnn Chmielowicz
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Credits: JoAnn Chmielowicz
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EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - 5...4...3...2...1...Liftoff!  

Dreams of futures with NASA or SpaceX abounded this morning on the grounds of East Brunswick High School, as fifth graders from Irwin School made the short walk over to the High School in order to participate in Rocket Day.  The event is part of the students' science unit, but clearly was also viewed as an end of year reward for all of the students' hard work throughout the year.

In order to be involved in the day, the fifth graders each made their own rocket while in class this week. Once all of the classes arrived at the High School soccer fields, the students were called up in groups of three to five.  All came over to a "launch pad", a desk where two loading sticks were located.  With the assistance of their teachers, each group inserted their landing parachutes, then loaded their rocket by sliding it onto one of the sticks.  After attaching a wire to the fuse of the rocket, the students moved away from the desk, and with the entire fifth grade group counting down from 5, one of the students pressed the trigger button, and away the rockets would fly, soaring high into the cloudy sky.  Once the rocket reached optimum altitude, the parachute would deploy, and their rocket would safely land out on the grass of the soccer fields. 

The excitement was palpable on all of the faces of the participants, as with each launch, they tried to send each rocket higher and higher.  It was as if their goal was to bring the rain out of the threatening storm clouds with each launch.  After the last rocket was sent skyward, the students had lunch at the field, then made the walk back to Irwin for the remainder of their day, the real life experience of science having been completed for the day.

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