I took picture you see above today when I stopped in to Target to pick up a few things. I know the picture’s crappy and blurry, but the picture’s not important — it’s what’s in the picture that’s important: these are freakin’ rocket engines, and they’re available in a plain ‘ole department store.
Model rocketry is incredible fun, and educational at all sorts of levels. But for years stores have been scared silly to carry the black powder engines because of lawsuit-happy parents of undermonitored children. Thank God everyone’s decided that rockets really are for kids again.
I worked as a camp counselor for a few years in college, and I build easily well over 1,000 rockets — most of ’em two-stagers — with kids. During the entire time, not one child was injured. Not one. Even most of the counselors who built foolish designs and launched them in unsafe manners (after hours, of course) never got hurt.
Anyway, who knows what future rocket scientists will find their love of rocketry at Target. Granted, they didn’t offer much of a selection of rockets — mainly the pre-built type with the not-gonna-fail-no-matter-what plastic fins — but still, it’s a start.
Toolmonger’s Photo Pool [Flickr]