"Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever."

Space exploration is the next step for mankind, this is why Omar Alsolaiman has been pursuing rocketry. He has been into rockets since 8th grade and is still going strong. I admire his dedication to the project he has started, to make a working model rocket from scratch. He has pushed on even when he met many obstacles that came across his path to victory. That is one of the many things that set him apart from other 9th graders I know. Let’s see what he has to say about his progress and learning.


A flight computer Omar soldered and made.

A flight computer Omar soldered and made.

What do you find interesting about making model rockets?

I think I find it really interesting because I like rockets, to begin with because they are cool pieces of machinery and really important. But more than that, on this scale I think that there is a lot you can learn and there are a lot of complicated obstacles that you come up against. That makes it really fun because you have to learn things like electric design, printing, and CADing, all sorts of different skills that make it enjoyable.

You say rockets are important, why do you say that?

So on the larger scale, rockets are fundamental to the way that we live down here on earth even though they are in space. They are super important towards our future, like anything NASA does or ESA does, like the James Webb telescope, which hopefully will be launching. Even more than that, there is stuff like GPS satellites, which are fundamental to how we navigate around using Google maps, and there are other sorts of weather satellites that help us predict natural disasters to keep us safe.

An example of a rocket he made but got scrapped because of technical uses.

An example of a rocket he made but got scrapped because of technical uses.

Ok, thank you, how far are you into this project?

I would say that I have done a lot of virtual work but don’t have much to show for it because I have come up with a lot of issues. I would say I have a lot of designs for a bunch of stuff but nothing completely made.

What have you learned along the way?

I would say that I learned CAD or computer-aided design, so I would say I’m half-decent at that now. Especially because not a lot of things have left the drawing board, the project has just stayed in CAD. I have also learned some coding for Arduino, so that is C and C ++. I would not say I’m super proficient in it, but I have learned a good amount. I have also learned basic electronic skills like how circuits work and how a lot of the electronics that we use work.

The example of his CAD work in real life.

The example of his CAD work in real life.

When do you expect to have your first launch?

I would say that I do not have time because especially now, I have decided to change a lot of things that would get things done faster, so I'm going to have to redesign the systems I'm using, but hopefully, I can do that soon.

Does this project change the way you do school work?

I think for school work rockets definitely change it because I have to make sure I have enough time to make sure I can still do some work on them.

Has this changed how you look at things in the world, and if so why?

An example of his CAD work.

An example of his CAD work.

I think that rocketry has changed the way I look at the world because I get to appreciate all the things that happen in space but also all the little things like making a computer or a flight computer, coding things, and just generally engineering. So I have changed the way I look at the world as I can look at new things and just appreciate them and understand them a bit more and I think more than that all the people I have met have taught me a lot about the way other people work and taught me to be more accepting.


In summary, Omar has been diligently working on this project, a hobby that he has found, and a lot of people can follow suit by pursuing a hobby they love. I asked other 9th graders what their hobbies are and how it made them feel. Several of the people I asked, including Jagger Winkler, Morgan Jaquin, and Joey, all reported that it felt good to have and do this hobby. It brings them joy and ups their quality of life. In the end, it is always good to do what makes you happy, and if you can, help make other people happy as well.

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Profile on Omar Alsolaiman
Max Jansen

"Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever."

Space exploration is the next step for mankind, this is why Omar Alsolaiman has been pursuing rocketry. He has been into rockets since 8th grade and is still going strong. I admire his dedication to the project he has started, to make a working model rocket from scratch. He has pushed on even when he met many obstacles that came across his path to victory. That is one of the many things that set him apart from other 9th graders I know. Let’s see what he has to say about his progress and learning.


A flight computer Omar soldered and made.

A flight computer Omar soldered and made.

What do you find interesting about making model rockets?

I think I find it really interesting because I like rockets, to begin with because they are cool pieces of machinery and really important. But more than that, on this scale I think that there is a lot you can learn and there are a lot of complicated obstacles that you come up against. That makes it really fun because you have to learn things like electric design, printing, and CADing, all sorts of different skills that make it enjoyable.

You say rockets are important, why do you say that?

So on the larger scale, rockets are fundamental to the way that we live down here on earth even though they are in space. They are super important towards our future, like anything NASA does or ESA does, like the James Webb telescope, which hopefully will be launching. Even more than that, there is stuff like GPS satellites, which are fundamental to how we navigate around using Google maps, and there are other sorts of weather satellites that help us predict natural disasters to keep us safe.

An example of a rocket he made but got scrapped because of technical uses.

An example of a rocket he made but got scrapped because of technical uses.

Ok, thank you, how far are you into this project?

I would say that I have done a lot of virtual work but don’t have much to show for it because I have come up with a lot of issues. I would say I have a lot of designs for a bunch of stuff but nothing completely made.

What have you learned along the way?

I would say that I learned CAD or computer-aided design, so I would say I’m half-decent at that now. Especially because not a lot of things have left the drawing board, the project has just stayed in CAD. I have also learned some coding for Arduino, so that is C and C ++. I would not say I’m super proficient in it, but I have learned a good amount. I have also learned basic electronic skills like how circuits work and how a lot of the electronics that we use work.

The example of his CAD work in real life.

The example of his CAD work in real life.

When do you expect to have your first launch?

I would say that I do not have time because especially now, I have decided to change a lot of things that would get things done faster, so I'm going to have to redesign the systems I'm using, but hopefully, I can do that soon.

Does this project change the way you do school work?

I think for school work rockets definitely change it because I have to make sure I have enough time to make sure I can still do some work on them.

Has this changed how you look at things in the world, and if so why?

An example of his CAD work.

An example of his CAD work.

I think that rocketry has changed the way I look at the world because I get to appreciate all the things that happen in space but also all the little things like making a computer or a flight computer, coding things, and just generally engineering. So I have changed the way I look at the world as I can look at new things and just appreciate them and understand them a bit more and I think more than that all the people I have met have taught me a lot about the way other people work and taught me to be more accepting.


In summary, Omar has been diligently working on this project, a hobby that he has found, and a lot of people can follow suit by pursuing a hobby they love. I asked other 9th graders what their hobbies are and how it made them feel. Several of the people I asked, including Jagger Winkler, Morgan Jaquin, and Joey, all reported that it felt good to have and do this hobby. It brings them joy and ups their quality of life. In the end, it is always good to do what makes you happy, and if you can, help make other people happy as well.

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