Instructors Babich and Johnson help prepare
the launch site on CM-HS football field

Rocket Launcher triggers the Blast-Off

2019 - Calhoun County Middle High School's fifth grade class launched a scale model replica rocket to honor the 1969 Saturn V, Apollo 11 Moon Mission.

The idea originated in the fifth grade "Minds in Motion" class. During class discussions, fifth grade students wanted to know what was the most newsworthy event that happened when their teacher Mr. Babich was in the fifth grade.

It was a pretty hard landing, rocket intact

His response was the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. When told about the magnitude of the event, students wanted to learn more about Apollo 11.

Students chose groups that researched the event. Students created posters and did presentations on the lunar module, the details of the trip, the astronauts and the Saturn V rocket.

During student research, one group found a replica kit that could be built. Students overwhelmingly wanted to build the rocket from scratch and have a launch for middle school students at CCMHS.

Calhoun Middle students watch blast-off

In between other classroom activities, the Saturn V project took place taking several months to complete. Students build portions of the rocket, painted, glued, assembled the rocket and completed the project by attaching parachutes to the two sections of the rocket.

There was extensive detail in the construction and additional items pertaining to the launch had to be acquired.

At 1:50 PM on January 15, 2020, the rocket left the surface of the planet Earth, there was a loud cheer from the middle school student body, the parachutes successfully deployed and the rocket returned to earth, the command module landed on the football practice field.

The main rocket booster floated into a very tall poplar tree, resting high above the ground commemorating the Rocketeer’s achievement.

Babich said, "I am amazed at the student success and commitment to building this project. In my wildest dreams, I never thought that the parachutes would deployed. Words could never describe how proud I am of every student in the class."


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