DOBSON — Surry Community College Math Club members, not “all the kings horses and all the kings men,” are going to give Humpty Dumpty a chance to go airborne this afternoon as the school holds its annual egg launch. The event is set from 2 to 5 p.m. at the SCC Emergency Services Driving Range on the Dobson campus.
During the event, each participant will launch an egg upwards on a rocket, hoping the egg will land safely on the ground. The activity has a lesson in math and physics concerning how high the projectile can go with an initial velocity and have the egg remain safely intact within the school’s driving range. The contest has been held for 10 years at SCC.
“Our goal is to get students from across all disciplines to participate and learn more about the fun side of math,” said Math Club Faculty Advisor Tracie Haymore.”We are expecting at least ten for this year’s competition. The weather has a lot to do with it though. One year the wind was so bad we had to adjust the rules to be just landing with an intact egg near the range and not in a tree so we could have a winner.”
She said originally the competition was held exclusively for homemade rockets, which has changed in recent years with participants using kits.
“The original students wanted to be engineers or in aeronautics so they really wanted to fly what they made from scratch,” Haymore said. “Most years we have at least one rocket that is not from a kit. We still require them to use a standard solid rocket fuel engine. My job is to sit back and advise. This is a member driven project.”
Haymore said participation varies from year to year, partly because of the diverse student population and partly because of economic necessity of students now having to work extra jobs or tutor, which has had an impact on club participation. Another factor is a majority of students are in two-year programs so club presidents often serve one year only.
“Overall, I think this has had an impact on clubs,” said Haymore. “Life happens. The community college population is like wavelengths which always change I guess. We had tons of participants when we first started this and we are going to keep going as long as we have participants. It’s fun to watch and fun for the students. We’re hoping for a good turnout to cheer us on.”
She indicated this could result in a rethinking about how clubs are organized. Students of the SCC Math Club do other activities through the year. The club has visited retirement homes, participated in Christmas parades, volunteered at local food banks and enjoyed Carowinds to experience math and physics in person.
For more information persons may contact Tracie Haymore at (336) 386-3406 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no cost to participate. Each participant must provide his or her own rocket.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.