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      Kingsford rocket to honor Michigan history

      Building and launching rockets is a passion for Kingsford science teacher Bill Bertoldi.

      But this year's rocket has special meaning.

      Students have been working on a 14 foot rocket to honor the 40th anniversary of Michigan's first rocket in space.

      "Over the last 10 years we've hunted and found the parts to do this and get it together and this year we started building the project, Bertoldi said. So it was a project to honor the history of Michigan."

      The Nike Apache Rocket is actually an exact replica of the one that went up to space in 1971 from the Keweenaw.

      This year TMs model is only half the size of its predecessor but is still expected to reach an altitude of 7,000 feet.

      Since September students have been coming after school several days per week to work on the rocket.

      With less than two weeks before the launch the reality of their accomplishment is beginning to set in.

      "Everything that you do you can see like what happens after, said Kingsford Sophomore Hilding Beaudoin. You can see how great it is and say I did that."

      "You can never imagine 7,000 feet and it TMs something that high school students are building, said Kingsford Senior Jonie Panick. It's unimaginable."

      While the program continues to have successful launches Bertoldi said it's all a reflection of his students.

      "I think it says a lot about our kids. We have a very good, solid program, he said. We have a very good program because we have very good students involved in doing this. So I think the real tribute goes back to the students of Kingsford High School."

      The launch is schedule for April 16 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Click here for more information on the upcoming launch.