We were delighted to welcome a past pupil of St. Pius X, Lorcan Kelleher to the school who delivered four amazing workshops on Rockets to the 5th and 6th class girls. Lorcan is in his final year of the MSc Space Engineering at Politecnico di Milan and is doing research into attitudes of girls and women to STEM. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the few weeks and were thrilled to get the opportunity to launch their rockets on the final day. The following is a piece written about the workshops by a few of the 6th class girls:
A rocket scientist named Lorcan came to help us to design and build our own functioning rockets. He explained the science behind it and how things like the amount of fins and the shape of the fairings affected the rocket’s stability and ability to soar. We came up with measurements for both the fins and fairing, using area for the fins and length and width for the fairing (nosecone). Once we had our measurements, Lorcan inputted these numbers into his computer to assess how stable our rocket was and that helped us to readjust our measurements to ensure that the rocket would fly straight. We also had to come up with a team name and logo. We called ourselves NSE(National Space Experts) and then once Lorcan had produced our nosecose using a 3D printer we got to designing and decorating the body of the rocket attaching on the fins. We felt glitter and paint were best to show our rocket off. When it came time to test our rocket, we used a foot pedal as a thrust to launch our rocket. It flew pretty straight but the fins flew off straight away! It stayed airborne for 3.49 seconds. We were judged on our design, stability and flight time. We had a really fun time making the rocket and learned a lot of cool stuff.
By Sophie Herbert, Úna McGarry, Caitlinn Comerford, Sarah Prendergast
Thanks Lorcan for allowing the girls to avail of your expertise and time.