Australian APRSAF Water Rocket Competition Team Announced

Australian APRSAF Water Rocket Competition Team Announced

VSSEC is pleased to announce that a team from St John's Anglican College in Queensland have been selected to represent Australia in the 7th Annual APRSAF Water Rocket Competition in Singapore 3rd-4th December, 2011. We would like to congratulate Jack Ennis, Darcy Molloy and their teacher, Ian Lightbody, on their achievement and wish them well in Singapore. The Australians will join more than 13 teams from around the Asia-Pacific Region to increase their knowledge of rocketry and compete in the precision competition. VSSEC would like to thank the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research for making this opportunity possible for the team.

This competition is part of a broader strategy developed by the APRSAF Space Education and Awareness Working Group to build skills and strengthen collaboration within the region. VSSEC Program Developer, Dr Naomi Mathers, represents Australia on this Working Group to promote Australian activities and ensure Australian students have access to opportunities such as this. Please contact VSSEC to learn more about APRSAF-related education activities.

Ian Lightbody led the team from Queensland that participated in the 2010 Water Rocket Competition in Melbourne and went on to establish the Queensland Water Rocket Competition. He has demonstrated a passion for science and works tirelessly to engage students in science and mathematics.

"I use water rockets in many ways at our College to enhance the students’ understanding of forces and build up the excitement for learning Science. My students use water rockets to support the teaching of physics units, particularly in Year Seven and Nine. Beyond the curriculum, water rockets are often used in other situations. Each year I run a two-day extension program in astronomy and space exploration for the Independent Schools Association in which the water rocket activity has always been extremely popular. Last year I was fortunate to have attended the APRSAF-17 forum in Melbourne with three students.... From the interest gathered at that event, I decided to run a Queensland competition this year and I have begun writing a book on the subject." Ian Lightbody

Year 8 student, Jack Ennis, won the school precision competition with the best average distance.

"I was first introduced to water rocketry at the school’s open day and I was quite amazed that a simple plastic bottle could fly up to 120 metres by propulsion of water and air. That experience started my interest in water rockets and when I started at the college this year, I signed up to the Astronomy Club, which allowed me to join the water rocket team.... When the announcement was made that the APRSAF Water Rocket competition was approaching, I knew I had to rise to the challenge.... Taking the rocket to the local park, I completed extensive testing over a period of time, refining all the controllable variables....I participated in a school-run competition, proudly achieving first with an average of 2.6metres." Jack Ennis

Year 9 student, Darcy Molloy, placed second in the school precision competition and won the award for closest to target

"I first became interested in water rockets around three years ago, when I made a basic water rocket out of a bottle, wine cork, car valve and bike pump, using steps from The Dangerous Book for Boys. Despite only launching 10 metres, this rocket sparked my enjoyment of water rocketry." Darcy Molloy

The results of the competition will be posted on the VSSEC website, Facebook page, and via Twitter.