Taking Off at Sooner Flight Acadmey

The Sooner Flight Academy has had an excellent summer so far a record-setting number of campers at Max Westheimer Airport, exploring the thrilling fields of science, aerospace, and aviation.

A long-time favorite activity of the campers (and staff!) is rocket launching. Campers get to build their own rocket while learning about properties of flight, in particular, Newton’s Law, which says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Matt Esker, director of Sooner Flight Academy, says the campers get a different educational experience depending on their age range.

“We talk about the explosion that happens in the rocket engine, that it’s shooting hot flame and gas out the back end, while that action has an opposite reaction of pushing the rocket skyward,” Esker said. “And for the older campers, we get into more advanced concepts, like ‘force = mass x acceleration’ equation.

Esker says the rocket launches is one of the activities he looks forward to the most every year because the campers enjoy it so much.

“My favorite part is watching the kids reactions. The youngest campers really love the count down leading up to the launch and the excitement of being able to push the button. You can really see it in their faces,” Esker said. “But sometimes I think the older campers love watching their rockets fail…just the thrill of watching it fall apart so they can figure out what went awry.”

This particular day features the Cardinals (campers ages 8-9) and Eagles (campers ages 14-18) launching their rockets into the Sooner skies!


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