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Old 09-02-2014, 12:06 AM
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tmacklin tmacklin is offline
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Default It's a Small World

At last year's inaugural launch of the new DARS high power site near Gunter, Texas, I had the pleasure of meeting Ted Mahler. We spoke for maybe 15 minutes, some about rockets, some about when he was teaching kids at Howe, Texas. He also told me that he was leaving Texas to take a job somewhere in the northeast, Maine, I think?

My son Charlie attended both Howe Middle and High Schools and still maintains contact with many of his teachers and fellow students. One of these students who was several years younger than my son was in Ted Mahler's 4th Grade Rocket Club. (Richard is now 28, so that would have been around 1995 or so.) Anyway, I have become friends with this young man and on occasion we light the candle on some of my birds in a huge, recently harvested crop field just across the road from his house.

I was surprised the other day when he pulled an old rocket out of storage that he had built some 19 years ago when he was in Ted Mahler's class and asked me if I could repair it for him so he could see it fly once more on something spicier than an A8-3. I just happened to have a three pack of B6-4's ready to go, and fixed it right up. (See pics.)

I also did a bit of Internet research and determined that this rocket was a Viper by Quest, probably part of an educators' pack. I found my reference after an Ebay search, which is all I could find anywhere.

In the late afternoon a couple of days ago the winds died down to nothing so we stuck a motor in the old puppy and lit her up. She flew just like she was supposed to...maybe 700-800 feet and returned unscathed on a new orange nylon streamer, much to the delight of Richard and his lady friend.
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Last edited by tmacklin : 09-02-2014 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:23 PM
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tmacklin tmacklin is offline
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A minor correction regarding Ted Mahler.

Ted was an employee of Texas Instruments in Sherman, Texas and also a volunteer instructor for the Howe Rocket Clubs. In addition, he was also a volunteer instructor in a teaching program called NT-Best, which promoted science and technology between teams of schoolchildren who designed, built and then competed against one another with their robotic contraptions. My son was in that program and benefited greatly from that experience.

Thank you, Ted Mahler, for being a great teacher!
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:42 PM
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Doug Sams Doug Sams is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Plano, TX resident since 1998.
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Originally Posted by tmacklin
Thank you, Ted Mahler, for being a great teacher!
Ted did a research presentation at a NARCON back in 2000 or 2001, or maybe 2002. All three were here in Texas, so I was able to attend, but I can't recall which year exactly. He was very matter-of-fact about testing and test data. I recall he stated that, when the data was not consistent, it was time to collect more data.

I recall thinking how profound that was to me. That is, I remembered many college engineering projects where I'd waited to the last danged minute to write the report only to realize I needed more data and was gonna have to use some clever verbiage to support my conclusion

Ted's presentation improved my professionalism. I realized, if I needed more data, I needed to ask for more time to take more data, and not try to draw conclusions based on schedule, but based on recognized trends in the data. He elevated my game - that was well worth the price of admission! Every time I see him, I make sure I engage him showing as much appreciation as I can! He's an awesome dude!


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Old 09-04-2014, 01:08 PM
samb samb is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Plano, TX
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I'd like to join the Ted Mahler Appreciation Society. I always felt like I learned something whenever I had the chance to interact with him. Just a natural born teacher I guess.
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