GeekDad and Kids Blast into New Territory

Geek Culture

Model rocketry was never my "thing," not for any reason other than I probably never hooked up with the right people. Spending my youth working in my Granddad’s tool & die shop certainly gave me access to the proper tools. Anyway, the Michael’s store near us has been carrying a full array of ready-to-launch Estes rockets and accessories which have been taunting me for a while now. Wanting to try something new as well as come up with a different activity to keep us all outside, I picked up a pack of two 6-inch rockets and motors that would give the geeklings and I a timid entry into new territory.

Essential details are left out of the available accessories one can purchase for these rockets (which is probably not a bad thing). But like a right proper geekdad, I did my research and realized that I would have to create the missing pieces on my own. My cobbled together "black box" launcher certainly added to the experience for the kids. We had a grand time with just the two tiny rockets and eight motors. One rocket was eventually lost in the woods and the other didn’t hold up very well to multiple launches. Even my 9-year-old daughter, whose interests these days are constantly shifting left the scene with an enthusiastic "That was really cool!" The 5-year-old’s thrill of actually making something explode with the flip of a switch doesn’t need description.

Our foray was a mere toe-dip into model rocketry to be sure and certainly a far whisper from UAVs. I’m also sure that many GeekDad readers are more adept rocketeers but we had to start somewhere. This was all new to us and the kids stayed with me every step of the way too: from learning the safety to assembling the necessary equipment to the actual launches and recovery. As parents, we automatically take on the role of teacher and give our kids the lessons of our experience. But our kids receive as good a lesson when they realize that even their all-knowing dads need to seek out new experiences from time to time.

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