Westmoreland Fair features rocket flight-testing competition
A calm, sunny morning was the perfect setting for the annual Westmoreland Fair Rocket Flight Testing Competition that took place at the fairgrounds on Tuesday, as 4-H members from all over the county tried their hand at flights of fancy.
The event was held for the first time in the large show arena.
“We usually have it down on the side area of the fair where the horses are,” said Tina Danser of Unity Township, Penn State Extension Youth Program assistant.
That area is now the site of several new pole buildings and horse buildings, and with the additional horses now on site, a safer location was needed.
“This way, here in the arena, we won't have to worry about the safety of the horses,” Danser said.
There were a few concerns voiced about the area, which is more enclosed with the grandstand on one side and a wooded area on the other, but the windless morning lent well to the rockets as they soared straight up and down.
“This is good weather and the rockets are doing great,” Danser said.
The 4-H members who competed could design and build a single-stage or multi-stage rocket, or they could build a bottle rocket.
Winners of the rocket competition were determined by altitude — how high they rose before they began their descent — and in the case of the stage rockets, accuracy.
There were several new faces at the event this year, with most of the newcomers building bottle rockets.
“The bottle rocket numbers are up, but I attribute that, in part, to the fact that we had a science camp this summer where they made them,” Danser said.
Jonathon Brown, 11, of Tarrs was a first-time launcher, building a bottle rocket that he called “Starry Night.”
“I always wanted to try this,” Brown said, adding that he got the design from a pamphlet given to him by the 4-H Rocket Club. “I cut two bottles, put them together then added cardboard rings. I hope it works.”
Stephen Kurek, 12, of Mt. Pleasant is another first-timer who said it looked like an event he may enjoy.
“It looks fun,” Kurek said. “I thought I'd try the bottle rockets.”
Longtime event superintendent George Sprout said the event started out small and has grown in both participation and complexity.
“This really started as a side project and has grown as it went,” Sproat said. “These kids work on accuracy and altitude with their rockets, and I've really seen them grow. The rockets are getting more complicated and the kids have to put a lot of work into them to get them that way.”
Superintendent Robert Knouse said the projects and competition are not only fun and interesting, but offer the members a unique experience.
“They work with safety, which is the most important. But this is one event that they not only use their minds, but they use their hands,” Knouse said. “This gives them the chance to perfect both of those.”
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Previously convicted of embezzlement, Mt. Pleasant postal worker accused of mail theft
- Sale of former SCI Greensburg prison to advance despite lawmakers’ objections
- Baby sitter arraigned on assault charges; Hempfield woman high on heroin, state police say
- Mt. Pleasant Business District Authority picks officers
- $7.6M buyout at Hempfield prison site clouds sale
- Court in the Classroom program provides insight for Norwin High School students
- Fast-growing Americans for Prosperity opens location in Greensburg
- Excela center proposal worries residents of Hempfield neighborhood
- Latrobe police to form DUI task force
- Unity lawyer to vie for Westmoreland County judgeship
- Deputy sheriff seeks top spot in Greensburg office