6th APRSAF Water Rocket Competition held in Melbourne

6th APRSAF Water Rocket Competition held in Melbourne

The 6th APRSAF Water Rocket Event and Educator Workshop was held in Melbourne 20th - 21st November at VSSEC. 33 students from 12 countries competed to land their rocket closest to the centre of the Mars target. Mr. Tatsuya Asagi from Japan was declared the winner, landing his rocket just 0.23m from the bulls-eye. He was closely followed by Mr. Muhammad Syqfiq from Singapore (1.93m) and Mr. Jason McGavin from Australia (2.42m). Ms. Van Trang Pham from Vietnam was awarded a special prize for consistency and accuracy, landing both of her rockets close to the target (3.01m & 6.38m).

Launching water rockets is a lot of fun and a great way to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Water Rocket Competition was established by the Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) Space Education and Awareness Working Group to attract future rocket scientists and provide an opportunity for students and teachers to get to know their regional neighbours. The event brought together students and teachers from Australia, Cambodia, Columbia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Before the launch competition students and teachers participated in a Workshop at VSSEC. They worked with Japanese and Australian scientists and engineers, and exchanged ideas with each other.

Prof. Takashi Kubota, Head of Guidance and Control for the JAXA Hayabusa mission, gave students a briefing on the mission and an update on the analysis of the samples. On the 17th November JAXA confirmed that the sample canister that was returned to Earth at Woomera in South Australia, contained a number of dust grains that definitely come from the asteroid Itokawa. Using very sensitive and delicate procedures, JAXA announced that they collected about 1500 particles from the asteroid, and that they are around one hundredth of a millimeter across. Further study of the samples will wait until 2011 because officials are still developing special handling procedures to avoid contaminating the particles during the next phase of research.

During the workshop students suited up as astronauts and explored VSSEC's Mars surface; conducted experiments in VSSEC's space laboratory; and communicated with the astronauts on the Mars surface from Mission Control.

They also participated in an advanced water rocket workshop with JAXA Helicopter engineer and water rocket expert, Mr Tetsuo Kataoka.

The students weren't the only ones having fun and learning new techniques for building water rockets. The teachers participated in a series of workshops covering basic and advanced water rockets and the construction of different launchers, including a computer controlled launcher designed by Jayathu Fernando from the Arthur C Clarke Institute in Sri Lanka.

After all their hard work the teachers also had the chance to launch their rockets....with mixed results.

When the competition day arrived things got serious. The students had 2.5 hrs to build their rockets. Every student had the same materials to work with but there were lots of different designs. Totally Wild and Scope were there to film the action, as well as some budding scientists and engineers there were some talented science communicators in the room.

After a traditional Aussie BBQ lunch everyone moved to the launch site. The Mars target was placed 60m from the launcher. Each competitor had two launches to land their rocket closest to the centre of the target. All students demonstrated a good understanding of the basic principles and adjusted the angle of the launcher and the pressure in the rocket to hit the target.

After two rounds of launches the final results were:

Name

Country

Launch 1

Launch 2

Best

Tatsuya Asagi

Japan

21.82

0.23

0.23

Muhammad Syqfiq

Singapore

37.12

1.93

1.93

Jason McGavin

Australia

2.42

21.5

2.42

Hiroki Ono

Japan

11.02

2.61

2.61

Van Trang Pham

Vietnam

3.01

6.38

3.01

Thomas Appleby

Australia

13.78

3.26

3.26

Sokhom Nuon

Cambodia

16.01

4.07

4.07

Ben Burgess

Australia

26.47

4.65

4.65

Tyas Yolan Safatri

Indonesia

23.53

4.66

4.66

Kon torn Kaewaram

Thailand

5.45

26.74

5.45

Kisina Brookes

Australia

12.55

5.96

5.96

Takuya Tanabe

Japan

6.87

11.78

6.87

Nathaniel Alejandrino

Singapore

7.06

13.98

7.06

Edward Louie Chua

Philippines

7.62

15.47

7.62

Rifqi Utomo

Indonesia

11.87

7.65

7.65

Vutt Lichai Sirinu

Thailand

11.7

7.85

7.85

Udara Abeysinghne Achige

Sri Lanka

8.53

20.81

8.53

Luthfan M Judawisastra

Indonesia

12.45

8.7

8.7

Muhammad Nur LBA Malik

Malaysia

13.39

8.75

8.75

Mohamad Afiz ZB Amizar

Malaysia

10.4

9.26

9.26

Chloe Chew

Singapore

9.43

12.21

9.43

Hayden Anderson

Australia

9.54

18.33

9.54

Jun Ying Alvin Ho

Singapore

11.92

10.16

10.16

Dineth Dissanayake

Australia

10.16

17.33

10.16

Annisa F Efrizon

Indonesia

13.02

10.32

10.32

Charlton Ortega Cheng

Singapore

34.4

10.68

10.68

Hirojuki Iwata

Japan

17.13

11.74

11.74

Shunichi Kakugawa

Japan

34.6

14.64

14.64

Keita Kitazawa

Japan

34.6

14.64

14.64

Lennin Galarza

Peru

25.07

15.86

15.86

Freddy Jose Romero Leiro

Columbia

18.75

42.6

18.75

Julius Peter Dacoycoy

Philippines

29.39

31.8

29.39

Joel Jie Wei Lim

Singapore

36.92

29.65

29.65

This event was made possible due to the support of JAXA; DIISR; VSSEC; MEXT; Engineers Australia National Committee for Space Engineering; and VISY. We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the staff from the JAXA Space Education Office; the Australian Space Policy Unit; and VSSEC, as well as all the volunteers. We would also like to thank all the teachers who work hard throughout the year to encourage their students to participate in events such as this and support them as they reach for the stars.