Having a blast

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On Wednesday, July 18, a small group gathered in the courtyard at the Vineyard Haven Public Library to learn how to build their own small paper rockets.

Special guest Matt Hayden, a food service manager at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, walked the group through each step of the building process, using materials such as paper, PVC pipes, and tape to make the rockets. Children and adults were encouraged to experiment in the building process, for example adding on various fins to the body, or making parachutes for a smooth landing. Once the rockets were built, each person was able to use the compressed-air rocket launcher to send them into the sky, reaching up to 1,500 feet.

Hayden, who has previously been featured by The Times for his arrowhead making, has been leading this paper rocket activity for seven years at various locations. He began experimenting with paper rockets during his time with the Cub Scouts seven years ago. Seeing how much the children enjoyed making and launching the rockets, Hayden approached the West Tisbury library about leading his own paper rocket activity, and they accepted. That summer, Hayden led paper rocket launching once a month.

Jennifer Rapurano, the young adult librarian at the Vineyard Haven library, heard through word of mouth about how big of a hit this activity had been at the West Tisbury library, and reached out to Hayden about leading the activity at the Vineyard Haven library. Hayden now holds the paper rocket building and launching once a month in Vineyard Haven.

The next session is Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 3:30 pm.