In Physical STEM, we are starting with some simple rocket projects. These projects are meant to familiarize the students with the basic concept of thrust and how it is used to help rockets escape from our atmosphere. To that end, we have begun the construction of the first of 3 rockets. The first one will use baking soda and vinegar (the same stuff used for volcano projects) to power a 32 ounce bottle rocket. The second one uses a match heads ignition as the thrust that powers smaller aluminum foil rockets. The third (and most exciting one) uses air pressure and pvc piping to generate enough thrust to lift the rocket up to 100 feet in the air. By the end of these three rockets, the goal is for the students to have a good idea of how various devices can be used to generate thrust, but the effect of the thrust is still the same: lift off.
In introducing the students to the idea of thrust, we are working towards our first “challenge project”. This project will involve the students researching, designing, building, and of course testing their designs for thrust supports. Thrust supports are a critical part of any space bound rocket. These supports are meant to withstand the massive force required to launch a rocket without damaging the rocket or space shuttle itself. Once the students have created their designs, we will test their thruster supports by applying a large amount of force to their rocket (bottle). If their support breaks, they will have to go back and try to fix/improve it so that it can handle the force.
As mentioned before, the first part of this is building a simple rocket out of a bottle (either 32 oz or 2 liter). Some photos of the students rocket designs can be found on Facebook. Thank you for your continued support!
- A message from Mr. Jake Rose