Rocketman: no not Elton John


Whole class

Gabrielle Chambers, Editor-in-Chief

On May 18th, our school’s rocketeers gathered up onto the bus at around 4:00 in the morning to head southeast towards Brothers, Oregon to launch their rockets.


After the four hours of twists and turns and one pit stop for breakfast, the squad arrived at the launching desert area. Initially, it started off sunny with some mild winds here and there.


3rd-year rocketry student, Owen Amerson launched his rocket that ran on an H-level motor.  Motors for rockets go on an A-Z scale, the closer to “Z” the more powerful the motor is. As soon as it left the launch pad the rocket was straight but then started going behind the viewing area. After digging it from the ground, Amerson was able to acquire the remains of his rocket.


Katherine Gomes, a 3rd-year rocketry student as well, had a successfully (for the most part)  launched her rocket name “Holy Cow!” Gomes had to walk miles to recover it. She managed to find the bottom portion of her rocket, but the top part remained unfound.


The most phenomenal launch was from a memorial rocket for Dale Coleman. Coleman enjoyed rocketry and his daughter donated her father’s rocketry items to YC’s rocketry program. So the class decided to put the most impressive rocket in honor of him. It flew up to 8,000 feet and ran on a K-550 motor.


As the day proceeded more rockets were launched, and the weather grew more dreary. Clouds took over and the winds became more intense. Dust would be found in every crevice. It came to a point where the weather was simply not ideal for launching.


Grace Armstrong was debating on whether or not to launch the rocket she’s been working on for so long. “It was a difficult choice, on one hand, I  really wanted to… the weather made my decision difficult.” Armstrong decided to follow through and launch.


Armstrong’s rocket will likely need some slight fixing because of how much damage was dealt with by the severe weather conditions. After her launch, it was time to wrap up and head home.


They all arrived back at the high school around midnight the next morning exhausted and covered in dust. It was overall, a pretty successful day for rocket launching, especially in Jordan Slavish’s eyes.  


Rocketry teacher, Jordan Slavish, was more than happy with the overall income.  “Seeing an entire semester worth of work come together in one day is really cool and that our curriculum’s test is the launch. Seeing everything they’ve worked on… some launched correctly and some didn’t and that’s good. Yo learn more from failure than you do with success. There was a lot of failure without losing money and that makes me happy.” He plans on going back to Brothers in late June for more launching.