The sky’s the limit

Juniors launch homemade rockets hundreds of feet into the air


Anna Benishek

Junior Joe McGurgan launches his rocket at Minikahda Vista park April 18. McGurgan and his friends were influenced by others in the park to start building their own rockets.

Gabriel Kaplan

After watching others launch rockets in the park right before spring break, junior Tait Myers said he and his friends were inspired to do the same.

“We were at a park and we saw people launching the actual rockets — it was me, Joe (McGurgan), and Ben Matthews — and we were like ‘it would be funny if we did that,’” Myers said. “(We) built one the next day.”

According to junior Joe McGurgan, they started out by using common household products, but recently started using one of Park’s 3D printers.

“Last week, we got some (rockets) 3D printed,” McGurgan said. “Initially, it was toilet paper rolls, PVC pipes and whatever we could find around the house.”

Junior Luna LaBelle said she and others joined in to compete with McGurgan, Myers and their group.

“Me and some of my other friends joined in to have a competition and we did a ton of rockets,” LaBelle said. “It was just a little fun thing to see who could make the better rocket and how high we could make it go.”

According to LaBelle, her friends designed their rockets with recycled beverage cans.

“My group made it out of Arnie Palmer cans,” LaBelle said. “We mostly just did it in one of my friend’s garages with a bunch of DIY tools, but we kinda just made up our own thing.”

Myers said his favorite part is launching the rockets — estimating they fly anywhere from 100 to 500 feet.

“Building them and launching them is really fun, to see how high it goes,” Myers said.

If others are interested in building their own rockets, Myers said he recommended turning to the internet for information.

“There is a lot of information online, there are so many people who do it. You can go buy kits at the store. You don’t have to build it at home like we did, we just did that because it can get expensive if you buy everything,” Myers said. 

Some stores offer better prices than others, according to McGurgan.

“I would definitely recommend Hobby Lobby, they have the cheapest stuff that I’ve been able to find,” McGurgan said. “Use whatever you have around the house and watch some YouTube videos.”