Physics Students Launch Rockets

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McKenzie Canton

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The Cutoff
November 4, 2019

Laughter consumed the room as paper rockets soared through the air and fell helplessly back to the ground. Ms. Lowry, physics teacher, strolled between lab tables and she commented kindly on student’s rocket decorations and styles. 

Students sat at their lab seats and hot glued their rolls of paper and colored the wings on their rockets. A table filled with girls laughed at their difficult glue gun, and a table filled with boys threw their scraps of paper at each other. Only smiles and eased minds filled the classroom as everyone constructed their homemade rockets to launch later in the period. 

On the other side of the room, papers stacked on top of one another on Lowry’s desk in an effort to get grades in on Skyward, and students’ desks were cluttered with notes and math problems. The whiteboard was well-marked with equations and due dates. Nothing though could get to the relaxed, soothed students on the lab side. 

“Alright, sweet children,” Lowry said and walked over to open the door. “Let’s go ahead and start launching these rockets.” 

Everyone excitedly stood up from their seats and clumped together to travel over to the first floor to experiment. The students held on tight to their masterpieces as they strolled down the quiet hallway, small talk bounced off the tile floors from friends and Lowry tagged along from behind, carrying large PBC pipes that dragged along the ground. They journeyed down the open staircase and set up their lab work in the foyer. 

The pipes laid out on the floor and empty two-liter bottles stuck to the end of them to step on. Groups of four scattered around the foyer and everyone placed their rockets on the opposite ends to launch. Students jumped onto the plastic bottles that crackled under the force, which sent rockets soaring through the air. They eventually plummeted to the ground and students rushed to calculate the distance and time that transferred onto their papers. 

“Look, Ms. Lowry,” a student said and pounced onto the bottle so her rocket would shoot out into the foyer.  

“Whoas” and laughter echoed in the open area; heads of straggling students and occupied counselors twisted when they strolled past the class. Meanwhile, the handcrafted test modules continued to fly high and far as the students recorded their data. Lowry leaned her back against the stone pillar and watched her students enjoy the simple yet riveting project.

Time raced by and Lowry began to wrap up on the lab. She called for some students to help carry back the pipes, which a few boys willingly obliged. Everyone packed up their papers and proudly clung to their rockets that performed well, and began their trip back to the classroom, smiles still stretched across their faces.