Learning takes flight at DMS

Savannah Vasquez

The long-awaited day had finally arrived for Dawn Pack’s Introduction to Engineering students as Thursday marked rocket launch day for her 46 students.

After completing a week-long study in aeronautics, the students were ready to see their hard work take flight by way of their self-built model rockets.

“It was a lot of fun because I’ve never done this before,” said Ella Campbell of the aeronautics study. “I feel pretty good because mine (rocket) is the furthest one that (flew).”

Students launched their rockets two at a time and most went off without a hitch.

“Only a few of them didn’t launch,” said Pack, “And with those we just switched out the engine and it was fine, that’s normal for model rockets.”

As each student launched their rocket, four more students stood at the far side of the field measuring to see just how high each rocket flew.

Using an Altitrak tool, students were able to measure each rocket’s maximum altitude and note the wind speed and direction.

“It was very exciting to launch, and to learn about Newton’s third law,” said Carter Tobik.

“I was nervous that my rocket wouldn’t go through,” added classmate Ethan Nale, “but it was good. It was excit-ing.”

The Destin Middle School rocket launch was made possible by a nearly $2,000 grant from AT&T STEM Solutions. Pack said seeing the joy on each of her student’s faces as their rocket lifted off was worth the hard work she put in to secure the grant.

She added that ultimately the purpose of the rocket launch exercise was to encourage a love of science and engineering at a young age.

“Most importantly, the children will have a memorable and positive experience that will hopefully motivate them to pursue engineering and science studies in the future, perhaps to a professional level,” she said.