Model Rocketry is a fun and exciting activity. Not only can you spend the time to build and launch your rocket, but you can also learn so much about real rockets and space travel. Here are some great resources to learn more about rocketry.
We were excited to work with AllRocketEngines.ca who gave us some model rockets to build. This all-Canadian company was great with customer service, answering my 10,001 questions, and sent us our rockets fast! In our box was everything we needed to craft and launch our models.
There were two different models – the Gold Strike (which also includes a mini Silver Streak), and the Black Brant III. My 10 and 9-year-old boys did the 2 in 1 package. The Gold and Silver rockets involved some very easy-to-follow, visual directions which were perfect for my kids. We did need a lot of hand-over-hand help as they found some of it frustrating, and the use of plastic cement was a challenge for them, but the actual rocket building itself was relatively easy – with everything made out of plastic, and prepped to pop together. It’s even pre-decorated, other than some stickers. We finished both rockets in an hour or so (as I had to switch back and forth between kids and that took a lot of time!)
My older son and I built the Black Brant III together. It was significantly more challenging to assemble than the other ones. You have to build everything. It was like a flashback for me to Grade 6 when I made rockets in school. It was highly detailed, and I found the instructions very confusing. I wish there were more visual aids. Thankfully, it did include a terrific blueprint of the finished rocket in the middle to reference. It took a lot longer to build than the other – several hours actually (mostly because I kept getting frustrated and had to walk away.). However, it looked great when completed.
We invited over our cousins and off we went to a local football field to launch them. It’s important to have a launch area that’s free from power lines, trees, buildings, and airplanes. It took a little bit of time to put together the launch system and controller, but once we got it all setup, the launching was a blast – literally AND figuratively! Although our little silver rocket had a bit of a misfire, we were completely amazed at how high the gold rocket and our Black Brant III flew! It was unbelievable!
I highly recommend The Canadian Rocket Store for all your model rocket needs.
Rocketry Lessons and Resources
- Canada Space Agency Educational Resources – Lesson plans for high school, created with help from Commander Hadfield, covers the physics of Newton’s Laws in launch and more. Also, other great space lessons resources here – not specifically about rocketry.
- Beginner’s Guide to Rockets – from NASA. This guide gives a lot of terrific information about rockets, including how real rockets and model rockets work the same and their differences, understanding how they work, and more. If you start here: Model Rockets – you can specifically learn more about model rocketry.
- Rocketry Education Pack – from Apogee Rockets. This packet includes worksheets and teaching guides, with explanations of everything from parts of your rocket, the science behind how rockets work, and even classifications of engines. It includes a lot of links to other great information resources.
- Adventures in Rocket Science (Educator Guide) – from NASA. A hands-on activities guide.
- Educational Resources – from QuestAerospace. Lots of resources to learn about rocketry: figuring out how high your rocket went, the mechanics of flight, and even a book for new-to-rocketry educators to help answer FAQs.
- National Association of Rocketry – The Educational Resources section of this site includes a vast collection of really terrific resources!
- Rocketry Lesson Plans – from NASA. Lesson ideas for multiple grades all about rocketry.
- Model Rockets Education – from Estes Rockets. Lessons for various age levels – including primary, middle school, and high school, with subjects covering math, science, technology, language arts, and social studies.