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KCAR Report: Cub Scout Rocket Make-it Take-it

Build date and time: May 25th, 2006 at 6:30PM
Launch location: LDS Church

A few months ago, KCAR was invited to give a model rocketry presentation to the Cub and Weblos packs 3840 and 3930 in Lenexa, KS. Randall and I went to the Silver & Gold banquet, were present during the awards ceremony, fed a wonderful dinner, and gave a 30-minute long presentation on the hobby of model rocketry. We had fun, the kids seemed to enjoy it, and the leaders asked if we were up for helping the kids make some rockets and fly ’em.

Cubs build Quest Starhawks
Cubs build Quest Starfires
Well of course we’re willing. So I forwarded some links and suggestions to the pack leader, Kammi, and she set to work researching models, motors, and costs. She finally settled on Quest Starhawks — a plastic finned model with a decent price point, and A6-4 motors. We sat down together one evening and put together a kit so we would have an idea of what we needed and I answered her questions.

These are pretty good kits. Easy to build, with only nine parts, and clear instructions. The Kevlar(tm) shock cord and plastic fins make for a very tough rocket that will be able to withstand small hands and many flights. They go right together, even the little motor hook slot is already cut in the motor tube. Cool!. I’ve had some experience with Quest bulk kits before, and these answer the needs perfectly.

So build night finally arrives; a whole room full of kids, and fortunately parents to help. One brave lady actually built four rockets! We went over each step one by one. Randall cruised the room and answered questions with Kammi, and during each stage I would have a look at each of the tables and monitor progress. I stopped one young lady (some of the cubs brought their siblings) from installing the fin can on the wrong end of the body tube, but other than that everyone seemed to have no troubles.

Before we knew it, we had a whole bunch of rockets that all looked very flyable! The kids also brought pens and stickers and things along to decorate the models with, and set about making them all beautiful.

We deviated from the plans just a little in a place or two. For instance, the plans show the streamer being slipped onto the shock cord and then you tie the cord to the nose-cone. I prefer to tie a loop in the shock cord and then slip that through the streamer attachment hole. The recovery system is easier to maintain that way. The instructions also show no glue on the fin can. I’m concerned that without some glue that the fin can would stay on the pad when the motor is doing its thing so we added a line of white glue to the body tube just before slipping the fin can on. I know that white glue doesn’t stick to the plastic, but I also know that the layer of glue creates a friction fit and will be enough to keep the can in close proximity to the rest of the rocket in flight.

At the very beginning of the activity, I instructed the kids to keep the plastic bag that the kits came in. I knew that Kammi wanted to keep the rockets until launch day to prevent them from getting lost, or damaged. The plan was to put the completed rockets back in the baggy to help keep them safe in the box. I also instructed them to put their names on the rocket before they started. When the kits were all finished, they were put back in the bags, and placed in the box. See you on launch day! We arranged for the scouts to launch their creations at our June Launch.

Scouts with their creations
Scouts with their creations
Kudos to Quest, who have made available one of the best Make-Take kits going. The kits themselves are a model of simplicity and fun for kids to build. Quest has pretty quick shipping services, and won’t break the bank. I believe that a bulk pack of 25 kits and 25 A6 motors works out to about $6.40 per kit and a motor, including shipping. They’ve also been forthcoming with some community service type things in the area, too.

Submitted by Tim Burger, NAR 78486 L1 (photos too).

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Page created on May 31, 2006.
Updated on June 22, 2006.