Launching into science

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – It’s an event that’s meant to “spark” your interest and for some local kids it really is rocket science!  Chemistry and physics teacher Jeff Boyes at Clear Lake High School has always had a love for rockets.  When our children were younger we were looking for some things to do.

“The boys wanted to build rockets so that was our winter activity, then when the snow melted  we went out and shot them off,” said Boyes.

After 20 years of launching these rockets, this year’s event is nothing different.  A dozen middle school kids all got word of the event through the Clear Lake Public Library and were hoping to put their fingers to the test.

“Well I’ve never seen a fake rocket thing and I was wondering what it would do so I tried it and it was fun,” said Thomas Gansen.

Gansen was the first to go, so he lined up, let Boyes show him how everything was to work, and pressed that big red button.

“You would hold it and it would take five seconds, and then why is it not going off, then it’d go off, and then it was just a loud whoooosh,” said Gansen.

Which is exactly what Mr. Boyes wanted.

“Having the young kids come and get excited about science.  They can see that science its not just a formula on a piece of paper, its something they can actually touch with their hands,” said Boyes.

Don’t get him wrong, he’s always having fun with it as well too.

“Oh sure, I’m one of the kids too. I love to shoot them off as much as the other person does.”

The ignition for the rocket launch was a simple electric spark. Mr. Boyes says he hopes to keep the tradition going for many years to come.

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