Students will make paper rockets. They will create different patterns of motion by designing different shapes of fins and different patterns of fin placement.
|Recommended Grade||2nd grade|
|Sciece Topic||Force and Motion|
NC 3.P.1 Understand motion and factors that affect motion.
How do you make something move? You push or pull it! Pushes and pulls are forces; forces start, stop and change motion.
What are the forces opposing the upward motion of the rocket? Gravity and air resistance. Gravity is pulling the rocket toward the earth and air resistance is pushing it downward. The rocket will go up while the force of thrust is greater than the combined forces of air resistance + gravity.
Predict how fins will influence the motion of the rocket
What will happen to the stability of a rocket with no fins?
Fins are also used to control direction. It works in the same way as placing feathers at the tail of an arrow. The greater drag on the feathers keeps the tail of the arrow at the back so that the point of the arrow travels straight into the wind.
The fins force the air to move around the rocket a certain way, the number and shape of the fins will influence the rocket's motion.
Where do you want to put the fins? What do you think will happen? There are no wrong hypotheses!
1. A basic understanding of gravity and how it relates to rockets.
-Clear packing tape
1. Students should look at a model rocket and draw the shape and pattern of their fins.
Time Estimate: 60-75 minutes
This project is a huge hit with students and staff! Its another activity where students will have to practice patience and learn from their mistakes.
It is always beneficial to have an opportunity to test and re-design.