Produced by Jim Clark; created 2014 May 04
Table of contents:
Motors and Motor Mounts: 2:21
Body Tube: 6:04
Parachutes and Recovery: 7:30
This video is for teaching new model rocketeers about some of the design decisions they will have to make and construction techniques they can use to make larger, more advanced rockets. I specifically had middle-school students in mind when I made it — there is a rocket club at the middle school I attended, and I would like to leave them a resource that is available at all times of the year — but it is suitable for new model rocketeers of all ages — young, old, or in between.
This video was created as part of MIT’s CMS.333 “Production of Educational Videos” class. I chose this topic for several reasons. First, it’s one that I know very well — I’ve been a model rocketeer for many years, and as of June 2014, I’ll have a degree in aerospace engineering. Secondly, there is that middle school club I mentioned earlier. Finally, I’ve been writing a book about model rocketry, called “So You Want to Be a Rocketeer” (still to be released — I’ll link to it here when it’s done), and with a video, I can teach construction techniques far more effectively than I could just by writing about them. I’ve got a couple more videos in the “So You Want to Be a Rocketeer” series: “How (Not) to Fly” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhxYjBZf070), which is all about using checklists and datasheets to be scientific and effective when flying, and “Stability” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYaqJ3YSipA), which is an introduction to stability, and building rockets so that they fly high and safely.
I’m generating all of this material about model rocketry as part of a master plan to get people more familiar with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, especially aerospace engineering. Model rocketry (and real rocketry) is spectacular and grabs attention, and the process of designing, building, and flying a rocket provides a clear connection between the theoretical scientific and mathematical work and the engineering and technology outcome.
For more information about model rocketry, check out G. Harry Stine’s Handbook of Model Rocketry from your local library (or buy it from your bookstore of choice). The National Association of Rocketry’s website (http://nar.org/) has links to model rocket clubs and contests and maps to find the ones closest to you. The Team America Rocketry Challenge homepage (http://rocketcontest.org/) has contest rules, registration forms, and lists of mentors and model rocket vendors.
Also, check out this newsletter from Apogee Components about where the body tube numbers used by Estes come from: http://www.apogeerockets.com/downloads/Newsletter09.pdf
Credits and Thanks:
Creator, Actor, Voice: Jim Clark
Course instructors: Graham Ramsay and Dave Custer
Technical advice from Aaron Clark, Youssef Marzouk, and Bill Litant
Historical images and video from NASA.
Soundtrack: “Americana” Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com/)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0