Lily’s contribution to the collection at THEMUSEUM

Yesterday evening Lily and I were at the monthly Maker Club meeting at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener. This month’s project was to make air-powered rockets using foam pipe insulation for the fuselage and boxboard for the rest. They had two launchers set up in the four-storey-tall atrium and along with everyone else there we had several turns at launching. The launchers were made from plastic pipe that acted both as a frame and also as a reservoir for the compressed air from a hand bicycle pump. The rocket slipped over the open end of a vertical pipe and a solenoid valve would release the compressed air, blowing the rocket up in the air (or, if there was not enough duct tape wrapped around the fuselage, just blowing the rocket up). Many of the rockets hit the ceiling before coming back down for another launch, possibly after repairs or modifications.

There was much speculation if anyone could get their rocket stuck in the mouth of the T. Rex model overhanging the third-floor balcony.

Both our rockets were of a pretty mundane design: only three stabilizer fins and a conical (about 90° angle) nose cone, and we had no trouble hitting the ceiling on each launch.

The ceiling is a concrete slab with exposed steel  beams supporting it, and as (I assume) decorations, there are round plates that appear to be metal screen or perforated sheet metal mounted on stems and turned at various angles.

On what proved to be Lily’s last launch for the evening, her rocket came to rest on top of one of the round plates. I didn’t catch its exact trajectory, but I assume it must have deflected sideways off one of the steel beams or other odd hardware up there.

Hers was the only rocket “lost” that evening.

If you know where to look you can see the silhouette of her rocket through the plate, so I suppose we could say that Lily has made an addition to THEMUSEUM’s “permanent” collection!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *