Sunday, March 22, 2015

JMU Physics Launches Bottle Rockets at Raw Learning in Staunton!

JMU Physics & Astronomy seniors Keely Criddle (left)
and Nicole Creange (right).
On Friday, March 20, two JMU Physics seniors -- Keely Criddle and Nicole Creange -- joined John C. Wells Planetarium Director Shanil Virani at Raw Learning in Staunton bright and early! Ok, it wasn't so bright, as there was a persistent drizzle of cold rain, but it definitely was early. Nevertheless, the order of business this morning was to construct bottle rockets using 1L bottle (or 1.5L or even a 2L!), cardboard, construction paper, and LOTS of duct tape! Our fuel was frozen CO2 (aka "dry ice") and water! 

Raw Learning is a private school/homeschool learning resource center located on the campus of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. Many of their students were eager to participate in this engineering exercise and learn what variables affect spaceflight (mass, aerodynamics, amount of water, dry ice, etc). 

Here are some of their designs!

Of course, once constructed, we now need to launch these bottle rockets! The videos are in SLOW-MOTION so you get the full effect of the tension at mission control as they wondered how their design would fare!