Blast off: Rocket scientists at work

May 27, 2023

MARION — Young rocket scientists scrambled to guess where their rocket would land at the Sippican School baseball field.

 “It’s heading for the tree,” said one scientist in dismay. Luckily, the newly installed parachute deployed making for a safe landing. 

The Marion Museum of Natural History hosted a rocket assembling and launching after school program for local students on Thursday, May 25.

Marion Museum of Natural History board member Mike Cronin and his son Jake helped aspiring rocket scientists assemble small model rockets complete with parachutes and motors.

“Lots of kids don’t even know they exist,” said Mike referring to the rocket assembling kits. “They know about vinegar and baking soda rockets or water bottle rockets but not like rocket rockets.”

Students began by attaching the fins at the bottom of the rocket. They then attached their parachutes to the nosecones and placed flame retardant paper inside the body of the rocket making them ready to launch.

Mike said that hands-on activities such as this one are crucial for kids to participate in. 

“I think it's important because it shows kids that they can do this,” he said. “They see lots of things on YouTube but I don’t think until they actually get their hands into a bag full of parts and start putting those things together that they realize what really goes into it.”

Jake reminded assemblers of the importance of decorating. 

“It is scientifically proven that stickers make your rocket go faster,” he said. 

Griffin Hagan, 11, said that the most difficult part of the rocket assembly was folding the parachute to fit inside the rocket. 

“If it’s not right then it won't deploy,” he said. 

Two-by-two the aspiring scientists lined up at the launch pad to test their creation and race their peers. 

Eva Stuart, 9, waited for her favorite part of the launch. 

“I like to go chase it,” she said. “You don’t know where it will land.”