Skip to main content

Career Connections at SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 4 – Aerospace Engineering (Rising 7th)

Posted by on Thursday, July 11, 2019 in Grade 7, SAVY.

After the crash course of engineering, design and simulation, and fabrication, launch day had arrived. Students spent the morning verifying their newly painted rockets, comparing the actual weights to their predictions, and creating test requests. Once complete, we loaded onto the bus and traveled to the launch site. Teams split into four groups – three altimeter groups, and one as launch controller ¬– and patiently waited for launch conditions to calm.
Much to the surprise of local meteorologists, thunderstorms failed to attend. The clouds slowly parted and winds died down to a soft breeze, perfect for today’s tests. One-by-one the teams connected their custom electronic boxes to the ignition leads. Once signaled, they yelled the countdown, turned the safety interlock and pressed the launch buttons. Each team saw a flawless ascent into the skies above, but some were destined to learn about failures. Parachutes melted, shock cords separated, and recovery systems were activated after landing on the ground. At the end of the day, only one rocket would remain reusable meeting all mission objectives. The others, while meeting their primary goal, would be unable to fly a second time. The students would come to learn the value of failure and risk mitigation for future projects…