Students Launch Rockets in Aerospace Engineering Course

Izzy Jacobson

Henry Frey

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Wauwatosa West Aerospace Engineering Students launched student built and designed rockets on Monday October 7th near the football field.

The launch concluded their first project in Aerospace Engineering, a class taught by science teacher Todd Dezeuw. 

The rockets constructed out of basic cardboard rolls were created by each student individually with their own specifications. 

Using a computer simulation, students tested how the rocket launches would react to various elements.  

The students inserted a small engine, an A8-3 Estes Engine, that was lit by an electrical wire that ran up the inside of the rocket. 

The rockets climbed to upwards of 200 feet before the ejection charge blew the plastic nose cone off of the rocket, releasing a pocket of streamers that increased the drag of the rocket, keeping it from falling too rapidly to earth. 

“We learn a lot about aerodynamics,” said senior John Delacruz, “We learned the importance of weight in a rocket, we learned how the faster and heavier rocket goes, the more fuel it’s going to require, [as well as] the basic fundamental principles of rocket science, subtracting all of the big math, you know, big calculations at the actual rockets go through, its to strip down to its most basic fundamentals.” 

Students had a variety of rockets, all of which were fired off, some of which spiraling out of control, others shooting straight before slowly drifting down to the ground.

On each side of the rocket pad, a student was equipped with a rangefinder, which allowed them to read the height of each rocket as it was fired.

As a whole, around 40 rockets were fired between 1st and 4th hour, and the project was a resounding success, leaving the students of Intro to Aerodynamics looking to the skies for their next big project.