Friends School of Minnesota 6th and 8th graders spent the week playing with rockets!

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The activity was designed to be simple and fun and lead to great observations such as:
  • I noticed that the short rockets flew higher than the tall rockets.
  • I noticed that the take-off time varied a lot.
  • I noticed that some rockets stayed in the air longer than others.

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Students used these observations to plan a second round of more formal experiments where they wrote their own questions, created their own controls, and chose variables to change and measure.  

Questions included:

  • How does this height of the nose cone affect how high the rocket flies?
  • How does the amount of alka-seltzer tablet affect take-off time?
  • How does the level or type of water affect take-off time?
  • How does increasing the air around the rocket body affect how long the rocket stays in the air?

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Next week they will blast off a second time and collect data based on these questions. We will then use the data to create an engineering design problem. Students will compete to create the “best” rocket design and decide how to measure what this means. My hope for the year is that students become comfortable with creating scientific questions and engineering designs problems based on many areas of interest.

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Kris Bennett, 6th and 8th grade Math & Science Teacher