SHARON – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No – it’s rocket scientists. Well – eventually they could be rocket scientists.

A program hosted by Community Library of the Shenango Valley shows children how to build rockets, model rockets, that is. Local students participating in the summer program say it has given them an out-of-this-world experience. 

Herald photographer and model rocket enthusiast Cory Byknish of Sharon volunteers his time to help students create their miniature scientific models. He took up the hobby as a child and found the next generation is eager to learn the skills as well.

On Monday Byknish guided the dozen students in the program on the art and science of constructing these wonders.

“It’s just kind of cool and nice to help someone from the local community learn about model rockets,’’ Byknish said as he checked each student’s building progress. “This is a skill they can use in a classroom with teachers or down the road with their own children.’’  

Brendan Zampogna, an 11-year-old from Hermitage, helped his younger brother Liam, 8, to build his rocket. Brendan was in last year’s program.

“It was easier than I thought,’’ Brendan said of creating rockets.     

Lorenzo Jackson, a 14-year-old from Farrell, said this wasn’t his first crack at model rocket building.

“I made a wooden one in school,’’ Lorenzo said. 

On Friday the students will get closer to the countdown by coloring and painting their rockets. 

The rocket launches are set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Buhl Park – weather permitting. The park normally forbids launching model rockets but gave special permission for this group.

“I want to see how high mine goes,’’ said Liam Zampogna.

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