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Sidney seventh graders launch bottle rockets at soccer fields


Anthony Ruiz

Sidney seventh grader Peyton Lewis, 13, preps her rocket for flight Thursday afternoon as part of her social studies and industrial arts class.

Far from their intended use, the fields at the Deer Run Park Soccer Complex were used as a launch pad for bottle rockets designed by 26 Sidney Middle Schools students early Thursday afternoon.

"The kids have fun," teacher Steve Hume said.

Hume teaches social studies and industrial arts at Sidney Middle School, a nine-week "exploratory class" that challenges students with construction projects.

"I make them do most of the work themselves," Hume said. "A lot of these kids have had everything done for them all their lives, and when they can do it themselves, they start to take a little bit of pride in what they've done."

Twelve-year-old Camille Highby said she had been looking forward to launch day.

Anthony Ruiz

The students spent about three weeks constructing their rockets in class, taking care to make sure everything was done right in order to have a successful launch. While not every bottle rocket had a successful launch, the majority of them took to the skies without issue.

"We worked on them all quarter, and finally today we get to launch them," she said.

"We build them in the class," Hume said.

Highby said she put a lot of work into her rocket, and put a lot of personality into its design, striping it black and white and adding bones to the fins.

"I wanted it to look really cool," she said.

Highby had a successful launch with her rocket, something she said she was "a little worried" about.

"I was really hoping the parachute would open, and it did," she said. "I accomplished it."

Hume said after the launch, the students are able to take home their rockets to keep. If they can find them.

The bottle rockets are one of two big projects in Hume's class. During the last week of school, the students will be testing the strength of miniature bridges they have built.

"We spend three weeks during the rockets, and about six weeks building bridges," Hume said.


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