Rockets.jpgThis past week, science teachers at my school challenged students to build paper rockets. As you see, we used a launcher that students pumped air into from a bicycle pump.  The materials provided for student rockets included: paper, masking tape, clear adhesive tape,  glue, and construction paper. We provided a dowel the same diameter as the launcher so students knew how large to make their rockets. Students were invited to build rockets, test their design, and then re-engineer the rocket. Many students made small changes and tested them again. Some students, however, made large changes before testing. I was thrilled at the enthusiasm shown by all participating students. It was something to behold as 33 students worked together to ensure everyone was able to launch their rocket multiple times. No one pushed, shoved, or tried to take another's turn. The rocket launcher was built using the Rocket Boy Launchers design. I found a simpler launcher design.

 

Two of the rockets went a distance of 345.2 feet (105.22 meters!) The distance was measured on Google Maps. (If you look closely, you may notice the construction of our new gymnasium is showing on the Google Map screenshot.)

Mapped_Distance.jpg

 

I'm interested in comments from fellow Intel Engage community members.

  • How might an activity like this allow for collaboration between science and your content area?
  • What similar STEM activity do your students do?
  • How might we add technology into this activity the next time we do it?
  • How might an activity like this encourage students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?