MINSTER — The students learn the most from failures, teacher Ted Oldiges told the Minster Civic Association members Tuesday night at Arrowhead Golf Club in Minster.
When the rocket club started competing in 2009 with approximately 20 seventh and eighth graders, Oldiges was just looking to broaden their experiences.
“I wanted them to have something more on their college resumes than ‘I played sports, I played sports, I played sports,’” he said.
The first competition the team was disqualified.
“It was a fiasco,” Oldiges said.
The next year, he said, the team did a lot of failure analysis, while their rocket ended up acting as a lawn dart.
They’ve come a long way; in April they competed in a NASA-sponsored competition and came in first place among high school students, and even beat the flights of some prestigious universities competing, including MIT.
The club’s 10-foot, fiberglass rocket was so big, said Oldiges, that if it hit a person’s house, it would go through the roof and lodge into the cement basement.