Many lessons learned as rockets fly

The students in Don Waddell’s classes at Monticello High School do many hands-on projects. One of the most exciting is when they build and launch rockets! Yes, rockets.

Two male high school students wearing black shirts and masks sit at a table making rockets out of green paper.

Mr. Waddell explained that the rockets are powered by Estes motors, the same concept as the rocket boosters on the space shuttles. The students’ rockets are made of cardboard tubes and paper. During the school year, the class discusses the history of space travel and building the rockets is the highlight.

Two male high school students, one wearing a black t shirt and black mask and the other with a light blue shirt and black mask. The boy on the left is holding a green rocket made of paper.This year, it had special meaning. As Mr. Waddell explained, students have spent so much time in front of device screens this year, they haven’t had the opportunity to get out of their seats, move around much or get to work together. This project brought the students together outside, safely. There was learning and laughter and spontaneous conversation.

A high school young woman wearing a white jacket and bright green shirt holds up her green rocket.









“The students had the opportunity to make something with their hands andOutdoor scene, green grass cloudy sky. A group of high school students and a teacher stand with their rockets to launch. have the superior interaction of a positive face-to-face contact with other students and teachers,” said Mr. Waddell. “The most important thing that the students learned is that school can be a positive experience that is enjoyable.”

The students who participated were Tyree Brown, Jessie Corces, Oliver Corces, Fabian Clough, Awa Demba, James Dempsey, Ben Edwards, Andrew Figueroa, Patrick Glowaki and Javante Gordon.