Interested Teen

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    Hello All! My 13 year old son has taken an interest in rocketry, but we have no clue what to do and where to go from here. A trip to the hobby shop last night yielded some Estes and Quest kits, but I can tell he is going to want to go “bigger and better.” His science teacher showed the class “October Sky” last year, and he was hooked.

    I am looking for some ways to keep his interest going. Any books or magazines you could suggest? I am guessing you are at the end of your “season,” but wondered if there were any beginner events he could attend.

    Thanks for your help!

    Kathy in Windsor

    Tim Thomas

    8) QM, Hello and welcome! The season never ends, it just gets colder. You guys just missed the club Oktoberfest Launch. Truely one of the best launches I have been too. You would have seen Rocketry at its’ finest. But not to fear, November 3 we will fly again. Have your son build what he has , and get a pile of motors, get on out there and lets fly them. A few moments of safety talk, and he can rock with the best of them! I know you must have alot of questions, and we will try and answer as many as we can. But be assured he will find Mentors everywhere. One launch and he will be up and running. Bring your whole family, the more the better! At NCR we value your young fliers, they are always welcome. On the home page you will find a link to NAR. Go there and get your son signed up, you will get a ton of info on that site. Info to get started, building tips and such. Welcome aboard!!! 8)

    Conway Stevens

    As Tim said Welcome!!!

    There are several members of the club in your neck of the woods. Some are from Windsor as well as Ft Collins, Loveland and Wellington. All of which are quite close to your area to help out and be able to give him some help first hand. Please feel free to call on us to do so. My Daughter started with the club and rocketry when she was 8 years old she is now 15 and part of a NAR program that she certified in to allow her to fly those larger projects. So we really hope to get to see you guys come out. We also have at the first of the year a Club Meeting In January. We host launches all year long provided that weather and lack of a fire ban permits us to.

    Feel free to give anyone of us a shout

    Conway Stevens
    TRA#9567 L3 TAP
    NAR #86005 L3

    Bruce R. Schaefer

    Kathy, you have definitely come to the right club! Your son will learn from the best, and we launch EVERYTHING, from A’s to O’s. He will definitely develop new insights and stay hooked on rocketry. ūüėČ Welcome!

    Kevin Osler

    I am really new to the High Power version of this hobby but my Kids and I have been building rockets for years and have hosted many events for the scouts. I have been looking for any information on Jr Level 1 certification. My 16 year old son is really interested in building something bigger than a ‘G’. Searching both TRA and NAR websites I haven’t been able to find anything on it. Can someone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks in advance,
    Kevin Osler
    TRA Member L1

    Ken Plattner
    Conway Stevens


    NAR offers a Jr cert program that is L1 rated allowing flyer’s under the age of 18 to fly H and I motors with adult help. The young individual must build a rocket that he or she will do a cert flight with and then must perform a cert flight on an H or I motor and successfully pass. The Jr member must also be a NAR member in good standing. My 15 year old daughter just did her Jr L1 cert flight this month at the Oktoberfest launch and she got her cert after flying her Giant Leap Thunderbolt38 on a CTI I205 for a successful flight.

    If you would like help here with this I would be glad to assist with any info or help I can.

    On the TRA side of things they do not have any kind of Jr program. BUT they can become a member of TRA and also fly flights on rockets of larger scale and power as long as those flights are logged as a flight by the supervising adult.

    So if one of the kids wants to learn to build bigger projects or then builds a bigger project that needs the power of a H or I motor they can build the rocket all they want as long as it is built capable to handle the power and flight, It can even be dual deployment with electronics. BUT they are not (this rule is for NAR and TRA) allowed to handle any part of the propellant or loaded motor including assembly of the motor or loading it into the rocket. The flight has to be then flown under the name of the supervising adult. So even though the adult has their name on it its still their flight. One other note. NAR does not allow Jr’s to use dual deployment or Black powder or Ematches as they are regulated. with TRA as long as the adult does all the handling of these substances it should be fine. I would also recommend that any build the flyer does get approved by a higher cert flyer with RSO experience, the Prefect of the club or a TAP or L3cc member. It insures good building skills and safety.

    Hope that helps, Let me know if more info can be provided.

    Conway Stevens
    TRA#9567 L3 TAP
    NAR#86005 L3

    Conway Stevens

    Also I would recommend talking with Tim Thomas of Giant Leap Rocketry. He was or is doing some Jr Cert work and possible sponsorship.

    Kevin Osler

    Outstanding! My son and youngest daughter will be glad to get on to bigger and better things! Thanks for the info!

    Kevin Osler

    Geof Givens


    My kids are 7 and 9 and they both enjoy building and flying. I think it is especially good for pre-teen daughters to get excited about science, engineering, handicrafts, etc.

    “Going beyond Estes” doesn’t necessarily have to include high power rockets right away, which are typically much more expensive (especially the motors). Both my kids enjoy designing low/mid-power rockets (A-G motors) from scratch. You can order the parts online, and buy some parts from local hobby shops. By doing this, they develop a much greater sense of “ownership” in the whole process from design board to launch pad. And they make some cool designs!

    Even without venturing into “scratch designs”, there are a lot of very exciting low/mid-power kits available for purchase online which are a lot more interesting than most Estes fare. Check out companies like “Fliskits”, “Squirrel Works”, and “Edmond’s Aerospace”, for example.

    Instead of leaping quickly into high power, I would also recommend (after getting a few kits under your belt) getting one of the Aerotech hobby line motor cases, which permit D-G motors using a propellant that is much more exciting than the typical Estes motor. The first time you launch a “G” motor of this type, your kids will probably jump back, startled. These are earsplitting, fiery, smoky motors that really put on a show.

    Definitely come to a launch as soon as you’ve got something to fly (or before), but above all else, ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY mark your calendar now for the next *major* event: “Mile High Mayhem” in the spring. This festival of rockets will be unlike anything you have ever seen.


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