Farley 6th graders make learning about rockets explosive - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Farley 6th graders make learning about rockets explosive

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On a beautiful, fall Friday morning, the entire 6th grade class of Drexler Middle School was outside at one of the school's ball fields.

The task?  Launch rockets they've been busy constructing high into the air.

For a number of years now, the 6th grade classes have built and then launched their rockets, putting their knowledge to the test.

"It helps you better if you get to do it in real life, because then you get a really good feel of it. Because, otherwise if you're looking in a book, it doesn't help you learn very much of it," said 6th grader Josie Goebel.

Her and her partner Audrey Frommelt got the chance to make modifications to their rocket after launching on Tuesday.

They took out some weight and fixed the fins.  Those modifications worked, as their rocket launched more than 200 feet into the air.

"I actually think, after we're looking at the numbers, I actually think it went a lot higher," Goebel said.

The launching is the culmination of a long rocket unit, and a lot of hard work.

When building their rockets, they're largely left to their own devices.

"We don't really tell them too many cans and cants. Our guidelines are pretty general. We lead them in the right direction, and they do their own research, they do their own design work, and then we'll offer tips and suggestions, but it puts the ownership back on them," said 6th grade teacher Todd Wernimont.

He says they love watching students get into this project.  And as teachers, they love it too.

"They live for this. It's not even work at that point in time, it's fun. To come out and to have them and enjoy what they're doing. Getting excited. They do the chants and the cheers. Each classroom has their leaderboard, and we really push and promote that. It's really fun," he said.

Most rockets spent anywhere from six to eight seconds in the air. Wernimont says the all-time record stayed in the air for more than 10 seconds.

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