Rocket Times

The student news source for Van Allen, 100% run by students

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Meet the Rocket Times

Hi guys, this is our first edition of Rocket News and we are really exited to have this issue out! We hope you enjoy. We are looking for more journalists, so it would be nice if you could join us. If you want to help, and will be dedicated, we would be glad for your help. Contact Athena Wu, Ridley Hazeltine, Adam Schultz, Muneeb Shah, Kian Thompson, and Kyros Wu if you have questions, concerns, or would like to help. Now, read, come on, you know you want to. Thank you!

Newspaper: Acknowlegdements

By: Athena Wu

First of all, I would like to thank the West Side Story team, for helping us get this newspaper started. So, if you have a older sibling, who helps with the newspaper there, tell them thanks.

We decided to ask the West High team how they got their newspaper done. They were able to explain to us how they made their newspaper. Some things they helped with were: good websites to use, how to choose story ideas, and of course, how to let people know about it. With the help of West Side Story advisor Sara and her student staff, we are able to make our idea into reality. I hope that you really like this newspaper, and if you ever meet any of the West High newspaper team, tell them thank you. It was them, that helped, a lot.

Fidgets: At School

By: Ridley Hazeltine, Adam Schultz, Athena Wu and Muneeb Shah

At school, most people have fidgets now. But fidgets are really just for ADHD or just ADD kids. Many teachers think that fidgets are just a distraction. Teachers have many different viewpoints on this matter.

Example: One teacher at Coralville Central dislikes fidget spinners and cubes because she thinks that they aren't helpful, she just thinks they're a distraction to everyone even the person who uses it.

Example: Other teachers tolerate the fidget spinners, like Mrs. Estill, a 5th grade teacher at Van Allen, allows us to use fidget spinners as long as we are using them appropriately, and they are useful to them.

We, as a team, interviewed Mrs.LaRoche on her viewpoint of fidgets.

Athena: What do you think of the Fidget toys?

I think fidgets are fun, good at restaurants, and car rides, but in the classroom, they are really distracting. Fidgets are only good at sometimes.

Adam: Do you allow Fidget toys?

I only allow fidgets if parents come talk to me and tell me that they allow it.

Athena: Have you passed on the message to parents about the toys?

I have sent an e-mail telling them they're child should not have a fidget.

Muneeb: Who was the first person you noticed playing playing with fidgets, and when?

Sometime in April, first I thought they were okay, then I said no, because things were kind of getting out of hand.

Slime Is Getting Popular

By: Ridley Hazeltine

Slime happens to be really popular lately and people have created Instagram accounts and YouTube channels just for selling, making or giving away slime. Slime making isn't always easy though for reasons like, how can you make so much and still have a profit if your selling? Annabelle Papke is a 5th grader in Mrs. Murguia's class and has a successful slime business now. But I was still wondering how she dealt with the orders and sales that she gets daily, not to mention the give-aways. So I interviewed her on how she was dealing with the slime business and how she thought it effected our community.

How do you manage the orders?

I either do them all on one day, or I split them up and do them separately each day.

What is currently your most expensive slime? How much is it?

$24.99, it was called the birthday cake, and I have only made 1.

How do you make your profit?

By selling it.

About how many slimes have you sold?

I have sold a lot, making this online business.

How do you think slime has effected our community?

I think it helps people think better.

A Cheap Slime Recipe

I thought it would be a nice accompaniment if I added a little easy and inexpensive slime recipe that you can customize to your liking.


1/4 cup glue

1 tablespoon liquid laundry detergent

Food Coloring/Sparkles (Optional)

Pour the glue in the bowl, if you are using any food coloring or sparkles add them now and stir until they are completely incorporated, then just add the detergent and stir. Wait for a few minutes for the slime to turn gooey then it's all done. If you try it, enjoy!

11 more days of School

This is the countdown, before SUMMER starts!! Whoo-hoo!

Ice Harbor

By: Athena and Kyros Wu

On April 28-30, two of our chess club members Athena Wu and Kyros Wu went to a regional chess tournament called Ice Harbor. The tournament was held at Dubuque Iowa. It is one of the biggest scholastical chess event in Iowa. Around 150 young chess players from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota joined the competition.

Kyros won the 3rd of the Bughouse competition and Athena won the 4th place. Since the tournament was held in the Grand Hotel with an indoor waterpark, most of the players enjoyed play in the play after the tournament.

Beginning Band and INTERVIEW with Ms. Oline

By: Athena Wu

On May 1st, Beginning band held concert at West High school. It is a big concert which included 5th grade students from Van Allen, Garner and Penn Elementary school. The auditorium of West High school was full of students and parents. The concert was a big success.

Mrs. Oline is the teacher and conductor of the Band. She is a young musical teacher with sunshine smile on her face all the time. After the band concert, I decided to interview her about it. I asked her a few questions, and I told her to just say NO COMMENT if she did't want to answer the question.

What do you think of this years band concert?

I think you guys played very well, and did a great job listening, it had lots of excitement.

Which instrument do you like the most?

I'm a trumpet player, but I like the variety.

Why did you choose to become a band teacher?

I was influenced by my high school band teachers, it was a place where I met a lot of friends. Band was kind of like a second home.

Whats the funniest thing you've ever seen? In Band?

Once I was walking down the sidewalk, and I was talking to someone behind me, and I almost ran into a parking meter!

One of the trumpet players got his mouthpiece- cleaning brush stuck in his bell. It's out now, though.

What's the biggest problem you have with us?

No Comment. I would answer if this was worded differently, though.

Most embarrassing thing?

I fell off the podium when I was teaching at Regina.

Which band group do you like the best

I enjoy working with all of my students. It's fun to see where they start, and how far they get in a matter of 2 years.


I have one cat named Pringle, like the chip without the s.

How long are you planning to stay at Van Allen?

I plan to stay here for a while, because it's fun working here.

How did you learn to play the instruments?

I took a class on each instrument in college.

What would your advice be for lower grade students?

Be willing to try any instrument, keep your options open, and always have an open mind.

What is your goal in band? Your goal for us?

My goal is to help guide you guys, and become more well-rounded people. Also, to give you the opportunity to develop a love for music.

How long have you been teaching?

I've been teaching 7 years, now.

Favorite composer, style, or piece of music?

My favorite composer is Percy Grainger, favorite style is jazz, and I like the variety, but not rap, or country.

Percy Grainger Music

Warning Mr. Grainger's Music is: Mostly Classical

Liberty Lightning Softball Field Takes Up 1/2 of 1&2 Playground

By: Kyros Wu, first grader

Many people are sad and upset that the new softball field in building takes up lots of the 1&2 playground field. Most of the students do not like the project, because they think it is taking their playground away. People wish that the softball field wasn't getting constructed.

Bike Rodeo

By: Ridley Hazeltine

The Bike Rodeo was a fun and learning experience to bikers at Van Allen. There was even a free bike tune up station. I think we should all give a big thank you to Sugar Bottom Bikes for that, but also for just supporting the event too.

When I was at the Bike Rodeo I was helping out at the teeter-totter and ramp station. I was working with my friend Emma Barta. Many of the kids seemed to enjoy the ramp ad teeter-totter as well as the other stations which included: Slow Race, Stop Signals, Car Crossing, Poly Spots, 8-circle, and Steering Practice. You could also enter in a raffle drawing and get prizes like bike gloves and other bike utensils.

I thought that the kids there really enjoyed it but even though I can't speak for them I thought that it was fun. Some of the kids had some great practice on the bikes, and others just had good time hanging out with friends while doing the stations.

Chalk The Walk

By: Ridley Hazeltine

After Chalk The Walk I thought that maybe it would be fun to have a little article about it, and here it is.

I interviewed some kids that participated and trust me I did not nearly get done with as many kids as I would have liked too but it must do.

Kaitlyn Hodges a 6th grader in Ms. Porter's class with a few other friends- Lilah Vanscoyoc, Genevieve Wagnon, and me Ridley Hazeltine- built a rocket ship with a little alien in the ship, but also added planets and stars. But since 6th grade was also doing a little contest, they won the award of "Most School Spirited".

Another girl who did Chalk The Walk was Ella Bernes. Ella a 5th grader in Ms. Murguia's class with Claire Floss, Haley Schroeder, Cori Mac, Kate Rechkemmer, Mary Wilde, Annabelle Papke, and last but not least Daisy Cabrera, together they all built an awesome friendship circle. Ella and I'm sure the rest of her friends had a great time.

Happy Mother's Day

By: Kyros Wu, 1st grade

On May 12th, all the 1st grade students invited their Mom to Van Allen to celebrate Mother's Day. The purpose of event is to thank their awesome moms. Students took their Mom to the playground. Each student sat together with their mom, reading stories and playing games.
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Next edition

For the next edition, and so on, we would like to include some other Van Allen students' writings. So, we will have a drop box in the office, where you can submit poems, short stories, or other pieces of writing. We will go through them, and select some for our newspaper. If you would like your name, and work on here, get writing! (And submit it)

Our Parent Advisor, Tong Xu will meet the Rocket Times Team once a week. The meeting time will be decided. Her email address is, feel free to contact her if parents have any questions and comments.Thanks parents for your support.