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Community members invited to build, launch rockets at rocket rally next month

Science

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The Rocket Rally in 2019. | Courtesy Payge Green

RIGBY — If you’re a fan of building and launching rockets, a local high school teacher wants to see your skills.

Jeremy Green, a Rigby High School teacher, oversees the Rigby Rockets program, which is a space camp. He created the group last year to give students, even outside of Rigby, the opportunity to have something to do during the summer.

The biggest event of the week-long camp is a rocket rally, where the kids in the camp and all community members are invited to build rockets and launch them.

“I’m trying to build a program to get kids and people interested in science and space and science technology stuff,” Green said.

Green raised awareness of the program last year by having 150 people show up for the rocket rally. He was glad to see so many families come together, and he hopes more will attend this year.

People can launch rockets for fun, or he has several contests people can participate in and prizes he will be giving away from businesses such as Papa Murphy’s, The Cookie Cottage and The Great Bambino.

“I’ve got two competitions set up. One, (to see which rockets) take the longest to come back to the ground, and another one (to see) which ones can land closest to the launch pad,” he explained.

Along with launching the homemade rockets, Green said he has some bigger rockets he’s built that he will set off too.

“We heard a lot of parents say (last year), ‘I used to do this when I was a kid and I just didn’t do it anymore. This is awesome,'” he recalls hearing. “It brings people together and it’s something fun to do outside.”

This year, the camp is focused on how astronomers use rovers to explore. People who are interested in launching rockets can bring their own or purchase a kit at one of the free construction sessions that will be held.

An instructor will be available to help and answer construction questions. Glue, hobby knives, sandpaper and other basic supplies will be provided.

“I know everybody’s kind of worried about coronavirus and the uptick in the numbers, but this is a great event because we’re all going to be outside,” Green said. “You can socially distance and still see the rockets go off. And it’s fun because they can come and launch and then if they want to leave, they can leave or hang around and watch.”

The classes will take place the evenings of Aug. 4-6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rigby High School. For those interested in signing up for the week-long space camp, register here.

The rocket launch is Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. at Rigby High School on the soccer field. For a list of guidelines and to register, click here.

Courtesy Payge Green
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