I helped the fourth graders at Wilder Elementary test their rocket designs today. Watch the video below from last year to see what this interactive lesson is all about.
Earlier in the week, the students watched the movie October Sky, based on Homer Hickam’s novel, Rocket Boys. I then explained the science behind building rockets and gave them some demonstrations of Newton’s Laws.
Then the young engineers took over. Their homework assignment – build your own rocket.
Using an air-powered PVC launcher, students placed their homemade rocket on the launch pad and began the countdown. After they watched their rocket launch, the students had the opportunity to go back into the classroom and modify and improve upon their design before another launch attempt.
This project inspires students to work hard to see their dreams come true and to introduce and reinforce skills and concepts in some very creative ways.
The lesson is from the U.S. Space Camp and Space Academy for Educators in an effort to bring the exploration of space and rocketry into a wide variety of classrooms.