40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 13

Model rockets aren’t jetpacks. (Sometimes adults don’t take kids seriously.)

I was obsessed with the movie “The Rocketeer” when I was in the 6th grade. Maybe it’s a testament to the magic of cinema, but I simply couldn’t see why–if it was so easy to make a rocketpack work on screen–we couldn’t have real life jetpacks.

So I went to work on a remedy.

I looked up the design basics for rocket engines, and then I drew a basic sketch for the interior arrangement of the engine parts in a jetpack with the same exterior design from the Rocketeer. I also suspected that I might have inadvertently discovered a design for perpetual motion along the way, but that was simply a spinoff idea.

I showed my design ideas to Mr. Geerken, the 6th grade math teacher who also ran a baseball card shop, to see if we might be able to get my project off the ground. (See what I did there?)

He gave me a model rocket and told me to have fun.

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