How to Run a Rocket Competition
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  • 1. How to Run a LocalCompetition Use arrow keys to move through program Jack & Kathy Colpas © 2005 Revised 2012
  • 2. Hosting a Local Contest is as easy as…★ 3…★ 2…★ 1…
  • 3. 3… Choose your Level of Competition Order your rocketry supplies2…Build your rocketsLaunch1…Mark & measure landing spotsAward certificates & submit your results
  • 4. 3…Choose your level of competitionOrder your rocketry supplies
  • 5. Levels of Competition chosen by age Kids Competition Ages 10 to 14 Scouts Schools Intermediate Competition Ages 10 to 18 Open Competition Ages 10 to adult Family Events See Contest Rules posted at for Details
  • 6. Rocket ChoicesThere are many Rocket Kits available that qualify.Here are some of the most popular models.★ Estes (Alpha, Alpha III, Gen.E2X)★ Quest (Astra, Astra III)★ Custom (Freedom, Venture) – or build your own! ★ Length 11 ½” to 15 ½” Diameter 7/8 ” to 1 ¼ ”Kits come with easy-to-follow instructions.
  • 7. Engines & Accessories★ Launch with Estes A8-3 Engines or Quest A6-4 Motors ★ Electric ignition from a safe distance★ Must use Parachute Recovery ★ 11 ½” to 14 ½“ diameter ★ Some or all of the „spill hole‟ may be removed ★ Maximum 4 ¼ “ diameter circle★ Standard Launch Pad & Rod ★ must be no longer than 38 inches
  • 8. Rocketry Supplies To order go to Click on “STORE” ??? Not certain what to order ??? Just e-mail us.We‟ll send a „no cost - no obligation‟ estimate.
  • 9. 2…Build your rocketLaunch
  • 10. 2…BuildLaunch FLMS Teachers Check out the Rocket Drying Rack Building and launching can take place on separate days Brentwood Elementary
  • 11. Rocket ConstructionBuild your rockets  Detailed instructions are included with each rocket kit  Approximately 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours to build  Can be built over several days  See NAR Model Rocket Safety Code at the end of this presentation Girl Scouts of West Central Florida Contestants must build their own rocket Help is strictly Hands-Off  Verbal coaching, demonstration and video instruction are acceptable NOTE: Exceptions for Special Needs contestants are at the discretion of the local contest judges.
  • 12. Location Sports fields make great launch sites  Clear away any dry grass or debris from around the launch pad  For safety sake – launch only when winds are below 20 mph  See NAR Model Rocket Safety Code at the end of this presentation Set target 20 feet downrange of launch pad  It must be stationary and clearly visible  A dowel and flag or nail through a paper work fine All participants and spectators must be at a safe distance  At least 15 feet from launch pad  Behind the launch control OCPS Teacher Workshop
  • 13. Rocket PreparationPush flame-proof wadding into body tube one piece at a time ball looselyPack parachute a little talcum powder helpsinstall engine (motor) Must use A8-3 or A6-4 power It locks into placeInsert igniter - Just prior to launch The igniter tip is brittle ~ Handle Carefully Make certain the wires do not cross Remember - Help is strictly Hands-Off Verbal coaching, demonstration and video instruction are acceptable
  • 14. Launch PreparationSlide rocket down launch rod Rod may be angled into the wind to control landing An angle less than 30 degrees from vertical must be used  NAR Pink Book ~ Spot-landing contest rule #5.4 Launching DeviceAttach alligator clips One to each igniter wire  There are no positive (+) or negative (-) leads Remember - Help is strictly Hands-Off Verbal coaching, demonstration and video instruction are acceptable
  • 15. LaunchInsert (or depress) safety key You should get a ready light (or sound)Give a loud countdown Just like NASA doesPress the Launch Button Watch your rocket fly!
  • 16. 1…Mark & measure the landingsAward certificates & submit your results
  • 17. Mark & MeasureMark the first touchdown spot of the tip of the nosecone  Golf tees, nails or screws make good markers  If judges cannot agree on the spot – landing will be marked halfway between the two spots in questionAt least 3 closest landings launch again  It is preferred to allow every competitor a second launch  Closest average landing of the 2 launches WINS the local contestMeasure winner‟s distances to the nearest ¼ inch  Any landing that is not measurable is recorded as 50 feet  Fill out National Entry Form
  • 18. Contest Wrap-up Closest average distance from the target after 2 launches WINS!  Only the winner‟s results must be measured with accuracy  Average = landing 1 distance + landing 2 distance / 2 Award Certificates to all Participants, Judges and Helpers  may be done later awards ceremony, parent night, etc. Fill out and submit National Entry Form  Annual deadline posted on website FLMS 2010 local winner At G.WIZ
  • 19. Contest FormsAchievement Certificates  Hand out to all participants  Contestants, host, judges and helpersLocal Winner’s Certificate  Award to contestant with the closest average landing  After 2 flightsFlight Log  Use to record individual launches  This form is optionalNational Entry Form  Fill out and get signatures  Submit form to contest Headquarters by Deadline See complete contest rules for details
  • 20. Local Event Requirements At least 10 Contestants  Each contestant must build and launch their own rocket Two adult Judges  One judge must have ‘official’ title i.e. Principal, ranking Police or Fire Dept. Officer, Public Official, Mayor, Governor, etc, Target  20 feet from launch pad, easily visible Measuring Tape  Measurements up to 50 feet will be taken, accurate to ¼ inch 2009 National Winners Launch at Astronaut Hall of Fame Launch Field  Sport fields (baseball, football, etc.) work fine National Entry Form  Must be submitted to contest headquarters by Deadline
  • 21. Certifying Results National Entry Form1. Requires signatures from: Two adult judges One must be a Public Official School Admin, Police or Fire Officer, Scout District Leader, etc. Contest host may serve as judge Winner (parent or guardian signature needed for minors) Three Rocket Contest participants2. Must be received at contest headquarters by Deadline Posted on website3. Entries must be on original, numbered form Submission accepted by fax or e-mail
  • 22. Quick Reference Guide Length Diameter Weight not to exceed 2 ½ oz (71 g) 11 ½ ” to 15 ½ ” 7/8 ” to 1 ¼ ” *including parachute*without engine / motor Note: No weight may be added to Rocket affect altitude. A postal scale is helpful for weighing rockets Plastic Diameter All or part of spill-hole may beParachute Minimum four shrouds 11 ¼ ” to 14 ½ ” removed 8” to 14” in length (max 4 ¼”diam.) Fins 3 to 5 Engines A8-3 A6-4 See rules for details (motors) Length 38” Launch AngleLaunch Rod maximum less than 30° from vertical
  • 23. Celebrate Nationally6 National Winners Receive -“Memories to last a lifetime and bragging rights for generations to come!”  Trophy  Certificate  Commemorative Space Shuttle Challenger bronze coin.Celebrate and launch at  Astronaut Hall of Fame at  Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida  Space Camp at the  US Space & Rocket Center In Huntsville, Alabama
  • 24. One Competition / Two Celebrations Winner Chooses Celebration!Astronaut Hall of Fame Celebration3 National winners celebrate at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex  Launch at the Astronaut Hall of Fame Includes special tour for winners – and their families! Ride the Shuttle Launch Experience  ….& more! Winners celebrate in The Rocket Garden 2009 National Winners Launch at Astronaut Hall Transportation and meals not included
  • 25. One Competition ~ Two Celebrations Winner Chooses Celebration!Space Camp Celebration 3 National winners Receive your trophy at the US Space & Rocket Center Launch your winning rocket from Author - Homer Hickam awards trophies to 2007 winners Homer Hickam Field, Huntsville, AL ….& more!Transportation and meals not included Launching from Homer Hickam Field Author - Homer Hickam awards trophy to 2009 winner
  • 26. .If anyone should ask…. . . Rocket Science “I never knew I could build a rocket. Let alone make it FLY!” Booker Middle School student Sarasota Middle Braden River Middle resistance gravitation math Newton‟s Laws friction chemistry triangulation force & motion aerodynamics
  • 27. N.A.R. MODEL ROCKET SAFETY CODE part 1 1. MATERIALS. I will use only lightweight, non-metal parts for the nose, body, and fins of my rocket. 2. MOTORS. I will use only certified, commercially-made model rocket motors, and will not tamper with these motors or use them for any purposes except those recommended by the manufacturer. 3. IGNITION SYSTEM. I will launch my rockets with an electrical launch system and electrical motor igniters. My launch system will have a safety interlock in series with the launch switch, and will use a launch switch that returns to the "off" position when released. 4. MISFIRES. If my rocket does not launch when I press the button of my electrical launch system, I will remove the launchers safety interlock or disconnect its battery, and will wait 60 seconds after the last launch attempt before allowing anyone to approach the rocket. 5. LAUNCH SAFETY. I will use a countdown before launch, and will ensure that everyone is paying attention and is a safe distance of at least 15 feet away when I launch rockets with D motors or smaller, and 30 feet when I launch larger rockets. If I am uncertain about the safety or stability of an untested rocket, I will check the stability before flight and will fly it only after warning spectators and clearing them away to a safe distance. 6. LAUNCHER. I will launch my rocket from a launch rod, tower, or rail that is pointed to within 30 degrees of the vertical to ensure that the rocket flies nearly straight up, and I will use a blast deflector to prevent the motors exhaust from hitting the ground. To prevent accidental eye injury, I will place launchers so that the end of the launch rod is above eye level or will cap the end of the rod when it is not in use.
  • 28. N.A.R. MODEL ROCKET SAFETY CODE part 2 7. SIZE. My model rocket will not weigh more than 1500 grams (53 ounces) at liftoff and will not contain more than 125 grams (4.4 ounces) of propellant or 320 N-sec (71.9 pound-seconds) of total impulse. If my model rocket weighs more than one pound (453 grams) at liftoff or has more than 4 ounces (113 grams) of propellant, I will check and comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations before flying. 8. FLIGHT SAFETY. I will not launch my rocket at targets, into clouds, or near airplanes, and will not put any flammable or explosive payload in my rocket. 9. LAUNCH SITE. I will launch my rocket outdoors, in an open area at least as large as shown in the accompanying table, and in safe weather conditions with wind speeds no greater than 20 miles per hour. I will ensure that there is no dry grass close to the launch pad, and that the launch site does not present risk of grass fires. LAUNCH SITE DIMENSIONS. Equivalent Motor Type A ~ Minimum Site Dimensions 100 ft 10 RECOVERY SYSTEM. I will use a recovery system such as a streamer or parachute in my rocket so that it returns safely and undamaged and can be flown again, and I will use only flame-resistant or fireproof recovery system wadding in my rocket. 11. RECOVERY SAFETY. I will not attempt to recover my rocket from power lines, tall trees, or other dangerous places.
  • 29. We have everything ready. Contact us. The kids need your help!Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition Jack & Kathy Colpas, program directors Over 50 years of combined (941) 955-3958 experience as educators. Wishing you light winds on launch day!