Science: Do-It-Yourself Rocket

Since he first began reading about the subject, Jimmy Blackmon of Charlotte, N.C. has been embarrassing his elders with precocious questions on science. By the time he hit junior high school he was wondering about rockets. "He read everything he could get his hands on about them," says his father. "Everything."

This summer, at the age of 17, Jimmy put the U.S. military in a mild flap. For years government officials have mourned that the nation's youth have no incentive to enter the world of science. Jimmy had plenty of incentive. Enough, in fact,...

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