Caloundra School Talk


The group was smallest we have spoken to, only 16 students but all are studying aerospace so it was right up their alley. You could see the interest in the young mens eyes as I spoke to them about this awesome hobby. I have no doubt that there will be few wanting to get into the hobby. 

We ended up launching the 'ol Patriot which went perfectly as possible, landing just few meters from the launch pad.

There was few questions that we answered to the best of our ability.

It was nice to see the principal there listening too and seemed genuinely interested asking many questions himself. Actually the funny thing is that towards the end he told my wife he "better get back to work" and then appearing back in few minutes !! It shows what was more interesting. Also the deputy principal turned up and others. Thank's to Bruce who spoke to them at length. I had a head cold and and voice started to give up so that was much appreciated mate.

Pine Rivers High School

Petar and I were fortunate enough to visit Pine Rivers High School as the first group for 2010.
We did a presentation for a selection of yr10 students on space exploration and the history of the moon landing following a discussion on rocketry. This was to end their section of lessons on astronomy.
With a little bit of wind around it was touch and go on whether to have a launch, however with their great field and last minute wind drop, we managed to fire two rockets which as always gave the students and staff great inspiration.

Petar and Blake were fortunate enough to visit Pine Rivers High School as the first school group for 2010.

Petar and Blake did a presentation for a selection of Year 10 students on space exploration and the history of the moon landing following a discussion on rocketry. This was to end their section of lessons on astronomy.

With a little bit of wind around it was touch and go on whether to have a launch, however with their great field and last minute wind drop, we managed to fire two rockets which as always gave the students and staff great inspiration.

Mountain Creek State School Visit

A teacher from Mountain Creek State School (located near Mooloolaba on the QLD Sunshine Coast) had been in contact with the Queensland Rocketry Society since February 2009.  Regular discussions culminated to this very special rocketry day on Wednesday 2nd December.  Students from two classes had built total of 56 rockets that were supplied by Suburban Rocketry earlier in the year.  The 2nd December was the big day that everyone had been looking forward to – launch day!

Ari Piirainen, Petar Nikolic and Blake Nikolic headed off to Mountain Creek State School just after 7:00am in order to arrive by 9am.  It was going to be a long day, helping 56 students to prepare and check their rockets for launch.  The weather was quite windy but manageable, with cloud cover helping to keep the temperature down.

Proceedings started as a few of the classes got a brief lecture about rocketry from Petar and Ari.



Ari was the designated Range Safety Office (RSO), but unfortunately, Blake had to take over this role later on as Ari wasn’t feeling very well.  Meanwhile, Petar and Blake were helping the students fold parachutes, pack wadding, load motors, install igniters and mount the prepared rockets on the launch pads.  Rockets were launching continuously from two launch pads located on the school oval.


Although none of the students had ever built or flown any rockets before, we were totally surprised to achieve a flight success rate of around 80%.

Class after class kept coming to watch the launches.  You could hear the countdown being called from everyone around the oval.  Over 1,200 students attend Mountain Creek State School and at least half of them came to witness the rocket launching action.



We managed to launch all 56 rockets in about two and half hours, including all pre-flight preparations and recovery.  The whole day ran real smoothly.   Ari, Blake and Petar didn’t get home until 4:00pm that afternoon.  I was a full day and really worth the volunteer effort.

Two local newspapers reported this special event, and there’s no doubt about what many of the students were talking about over the dinner that night.

The Queensland Rocketry Society visited 11 schools in 2009.  The club’s school visitation program is destined to be even bigger in 2010!


Beaudesert Primary School Visit

On Friday 27th November, Petar Nikolic and Blake Nikolic had the pleasure of presenting a talk to the Year 3 students of Beaudesert Primary about rockets and space travel.

beaudesertprimary6  beaudesertprimary7


We were impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the students, their attentiveness and how well behaved they were.  The students had been studying a unit on space travel and rockets.  The effort the students have put into this project and enjoyment shown by them is indeed a credit to the motivation provided by Leonie Armstrong and her fellow year 3 teachers.

beaudesertprimary1  beaudesertprimary3

The students made a variety of model rockets that were propelled by air, water and chemical power.  Some students even made costumes as scientists or astronauts.  After our presentation and live firing of some model rockets, the students demonstrated to us how their rockets worked.  The morning’s activities culminated in a morning tea consisting of food with a space theme.

beaudesertprimary4  beaudesertprimary5

This obviously was a wonderful and meaningful learning experience for the students.  Petar is a retired science/maths teacher.  In his words: “It is pleasing to see the work of the dedicated staff at Beaudesert Primary.  I thank Leonie for contacting us and allowing us to be part of this enriching experience.







Loganlea High School Vist

Petar spoke about the history of space travel using models of the Saturn V and the Space Shuttle. Blake showed the students how model rockets work. The students were very responsive and asked some great questions.

The oohs and ahs as the rockets were launched after the students did the countdown is always great to hear.

One of the teacher’s present is very keen to start a rocket club at the school next year. We look forward to helping him in this endeavour.

Faith Lutheran College Visit

On Friday 30th October, Ari Piirainen, Blake Nikolic, George Dobson and Brendan Pratt travelled over to Faith Lutheran College at Victoria Point to deliver another rocketry presentation to the local school students.

Faith Lutheran College

Over 500 students and staff came to hear about various rocketry topics.  Another 100 students wanted to attend but couldn't make it due to some other activity.  This was our biggest school audience to date.

Each representative from the Queensland Rocketry Society answered dozens of questions from the young enquiring minds.  We also had a privilege of joining all the teachers for morning tea.  They really made us fell welcome!  This is another school which basically can't wait to get a rocketry programme up and going.

Faith Lutheran College

The deputy principal of Faith Lutheran College, who arranged this visit has also invited Ari to speak on 17th November at an upcoming Rotary Club.  This is a special night where the member’s families are tending and will have an opportunity to hear all about this awesome hobby!

The QRS Visits to local schools in April and May

A teacher from the Chisholm Catholic College of Cornubia invited the Queensland Rocketry Society to deliver a presentation on Friday 24th April '09 to about 10 of his students who study physics.  When Ari, Blake, George and Petar arrived, the teacher invited other teachers who were also interested in attending.  All of a sudden, about 120 students their teachers joined the presentation.

 Petar delivered an excellent presentation on rockets, which includes many topics from the Apollo moon landing to the space shuttle.  Meanwhile, Ari set-up an Estes Patriot for a launch on an Estes B6-4 motor.  As soon as Petar finished his presentation all the students joined in the counted down and the Patriot leapt into the sky, accompanied by loud cheers and clapping.

Next Ari showed the students a range of hobby rockets from low-power up to high-power, including his recently completed Intimidator-4.  Petar explained some more about how model rockets work while Ari set-up the Patriot for another launch; this time on bigger motor, an Estes C6-3.  The second launch prompted even louder applause and lots of "Wow's" from the senior students.  Although this was the conclusion of the official presentation, some of the teachers had one-on-one conversations about rocketry for another half an hour.

It was another rewarding experience and the students obviously enjoyed it very much!

On Wednesday 6th May '09, Ari, Blake, Pavi Brendan and Petar visited Flagstone Community College to deliver a similar presentation to four teachers and about 150 students.   A photographer from the local Jimboomba Times newspaper also came along to capture the story in writing and photographs.

Petar delivered his usual fantastic presentations and Ari orchestrated two launches of the Estes Patriot just before it started to drizzle with light rain.  Amazingly, the heavy rain held off just long enough for us to finish our presentation and demonstration launches.

If you would like the Queensland Rocketry Society to visit your local school to deliver an educational presentation about rockets, including a demonstration of a model rocket, please telephone Mr Ari Piirainen on 0412 650 682.

Bribie Island High School Visit

A model of the various parts of the space shuttle was also shown and explained. This was followed by demonstrations of water powered, air powered and chemical powered rockets.

Bribie Island High School                    Bribie Island High School

It was great to see how keen the students were about our demonstration as many in depth questions were asked by them.

The behaviour of the students was a credit to their school and teachers.

Bribie Island High School