Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sixth Meeting: Glorious Eggs, Philosophy

EDIT: Hey look, we were featured on the Beaver web site, with pictures and everything!

Friday's meeting was, in a word, glorious. We started out by just taping two rocket engines to an egg facing opposite directions--it spun and whirred and when the smoke cleared the egg was just plain old gone. And then we launched Vivek's group's 2-stage egg rocket, which sort of hovered in the air for a moment before dropping to the ground. And when the first engine ignited the second, the first got shot out the back and off it went. It actually caught on fire, and it was burning quite nicely before Ms. Nickerson cruelly put it out. Too bad. The warmth was much appreciated while it lasted. And for the final one, we tried igniting three engines at once. And, well, two of them went!

Video: BSEC: Sixth Meeting (Third Year)

Ineconomies of Scale

Unfortunately, our attendance dropped to the lowest it's been all year on Friday. It's too bad, since it was such an entertaining meeting. But we inevitably reach this point every year--the point where seemingly overnight, half the club disappears. We're completely to blame, of course. We've never been even remotely organized, and there's just not enough stuff for 40 people to do every meeting.

But today's meeting only confirmed what many club members have known for a long time: with very few people, we can be very productive.

So we've been thinking. What if we had "do" meetings and "view" meetings? I feel bad that all members are obliged to go to all meetings, even the ones where nothing happens. So what if a core group prepared things for everyone else to watch at perscribed times? It would be even better if we could get everyone actively involved, of course--for instance, by splitting into subclubs with different foci, like model rocketry or potato guns or robotics. But we're not sure we can pull that off. Everything is completely undecided right now--let us know what you think in the comments.

(Note also that even if we don't announce when we'll be shooting off the rockets, there's a simple formula: come late. But not too late, of course. I'd say 12:20 is when things typically get going. Although actually, today we were shockingly speedy getting the first rocket egg launched....)

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