Although the Deerfield Rocket Club has been active for several years, co-presidents Jon Lamb ’12 and Jade Moon ’13, along with advisor and Science Department Chair Ben Bakker, have taken the club to new heights, showcasing even more rocket launches this school year.
While rocketry is an unfamiliar hobby to many students, the Rocket Club is the perfect platform for cultivating this interest. The purpose of the club is simply to enjoy the process of rocketry and the challenges of building a rocket, such as monitoring weight distribution, aerodynamics, and engine strength and thinking quickly.
“The Rocket Club itself is its own independent club, but at the same time, we’re a sub-branch of the science team, so we build rockets for the TARC (Team America Rocketry Challenge) division,” Lamb said.
On their most recent launch, which took place on the far lower athletic fields, the captains attempted to qualify for TARC.
To estimate the results of the rocket, Lamb used a computer simulation. In this program, the participant can input measurements and specifications to alter factors of the rocket.
To qualify, the launch had to go as close to 800 feet as possible with two perfectly intact raw eggs in the rocket.
“Unfortunately, though we hit the correct altitude, we had some parachute problems, and the rocket fell down way too fast for the eggs to handle, and the eggs cracked,” said Moon.
At the launch, a judge from TARC had to see the flight and report to the association.
“As a judge, I inspect the rocket to be sure it meets the requirements of the contest. Then I stand back and observe the flights while recording information,” explained Gerry Lempicki, who volunteered to submit results to TARC.
Anticipating next year, Moon hopes to recruit a maximum of six people to build and launch rockets as a team.
“We want our recruits to be both experienced and inexperienced, and are considering holding some training sessions to teach students rocketry,” said Moon.