rocket hacking

We launched a model rocket this last weekend. It was a blast! (sorry, I couldn’t resist) The kids really enjoyed watching me put together the rocket, and I encouraged them to decorate the rocket as they wished. I tried to explain the basic chemistry, but they lost interest quickly. So I just focused them on how cool it would be when the rocket took off into the sky, and how the parachute would open and allow it to float down safely. The funny thing is that the ignitor didn’t work. And this is where it got really creative — I needed to find a spark to ignite the engine. But by the time I realized that the store-bought battery-powered ignitor wouldn’t work, I had a yardful of kids waiting for the model rocket to take off. A dozen kids...

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Inspiring My Kids Through Example

Cross-posted to projects for a dad: I think that Kevin Kelly really put his finger on something when he talks about the models we provide for our children. After all, whatever my children see me doing is what they feel is “normal”, or “expected” for an adult. So if I’m writing and performing drama or if I’m carving pumpkins or spending time coding on the computer, my kids on some subliminal level will feel this is a “cool” adult activity. Science fiction author Neal Stephenson mentioned this first to Kelly when he note an unfinished kayak under a tarp. He said he was slowly working on it, in part to mentor his kids, even though they did no work on the boat, nor express the least bit of interest in this project....

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