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    ED 481 373 SE 068 364

    TITLE Rockets: An Educator's Guide with Activities in Science,Mathematics, and Technology.

    INSTITUTION National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington,DC

    REPORT NO EG-2003-01-108-HQPUB DATE 2003-00-00

    NOTE 128p.; Produced by the Johnson Space Center.PUB TYPE Guides Classroom Teacher (052)EDRS PRICE EDRS Price MF01/PC06 Plus Postage.DESCRIPTORS Aerospace Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Force;

    *Integrated Activities; Mathematics Education; *ScienceInstruction; *Space Sciences; Technology Education


    This educational guide discusses rockets and includesactivities in science, mathematics, and technology. It begins with backgroundinformation on the history of rocketry, scientific principles, and practicalrocketry. The sections on scientific principles and practical rocketry focuson Sir Isaac Newton's Three Laws of Motion. These laws explain why rocketswork and how .to make them more efficient. Activities include: (1) "ActivityMatrix"; (2) "Pop Can Hero Engine"; (3) "Rocket Racer"; (4) "3-2-1 Pop!"; (5)"Antacid Tablet Race"; (6) "Paper Rockets"; (7) "Newton Car"; (8) "BalloonStaging"; (9) "Rocket Transportation"; (10) "Altitude Tracking"; (11) "BottleRocket Launcher"; (12) "Bottle Rocket"; (13) "Project X-35"; and (14)"Additional Extensions". (MVL)

    Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be madefrom the original document.

  • '

    National Aeronautics andSpace Administration

    Educational Product

    Educators Grades K-12



    An Educator's Guide with Activities in Science,Mathematics, and Technology

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONOffice of Educational Research and Improvement


    Cit..17CENTER (ERIC)

    4 documis ent has been reproduced asreceived hem the person or organizationoriginating it.

    0 Minor changes have been made toimprove reproduction quality.

    Points of view or opinions stated in thisdocument do not necessarily representofficial OERI position or policy.2


  • ROCKETSAn Educator's Guide with Activities In Science,

    Mathematics, and Technology

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    Office of Human Resources and EducationOffice of Education

    Washington, DC

    Teaching From Space ProgramNASA Johnson Space Center

    Houston, TX

    This publication is in the Public Domain and is not protected by copyright.Permission is not required for duplication.


  • Acknowledgments This publication was developed for theNational Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration with the assistance ofhundreds of teachers in the Texas Region IVarea and educators of the AerospaceEducation Services Program, OklahomaState University.


    Deborah A. ShearerGregory L. Vogt, Ed.D.Teaching From Space ProgramNASA Johnson Space CenterHouston, TX


    Carla B. RosenbergTeaching From Space ProgramNASA HeadquartersWashington, DC

    Special Thanks to:

    Timothy J. WickenheiserChief, Advanced Mission Analysis BranchNASA Lewis Research Center

    Gordon W. EskridgeAerospace Education SpecialistOklahoma State University

    Dale M. OliveTeacher, Hawaii


  • Table of Contents How To Use This Guide 1

    Activity Format 3

    Brief History of Rockets 5

    Rocket Principles 13

    Practical Rocketry 18

    Launch Vehicle Family Album 25

    Activities 35

    Activity Matrix 36Pop Can Hero Engine 39Rocket Racer 453-2-1 Pop! 53Antacid Tablet Race 57Paper Rockets 61Newton Car 67Balloon Staging 73Rocket Transportation 76Altitude Tracking 79Bottle Rocket Launcher 87Bottle Rocket 91Project X-35 95Additional Extensions 114

    Glossary 115

    NASA Educational Materials 116

    Suggested Reading 116

    Electronic Resources 117

    NASA Resources for Educators 118

    NASA Educator ResourceCenter Network 118

    Evaluation Reply Card Insert


  • How To Use This Guide R ockets are the oldest form of self-containedvehicles in existence. Early rockets were inuse more than two thousand years ago. Over along and exciting history, rockets have evolvedfrom simple tubes filled with black powder intomighty vehicles capable of launching a spacecraftout into the galaxy. Few experiences cancompare with the excitement and thrill ofwatching a rocket-powered vehicle, such as theSpace Shuttle, thunder into space. Dreams ofrocket flight to distant worlds fire the imaginationof both children and adults.

    With some simple and inexpensive materials,you can mount an exciting and productive unitabout rockets for children that incorporatesscience, mathematics, and technology education.The many activities contained in this teachingguide emphasize hands-on involvement,prediction, data collection and interpretation,teamwork, and problem solving. Furthermore,the guide contains background information aboutthe history of rockets and basic rocket science tomake you and your students "rocket scientists."

    The guide begins with background informationon the history of rocketry, scientific principles, andpractical rocketry. The sections on scientificprinciples and practical rocketry focus on SirIsaac Newton's Three Laws of Motion. Theselaws explain why rockets work and how to makethem more efficient.

    Following the background sections are a seriesof activities that demonstrate the basic science ofrocketry while offering challenging tasks indesign. Each activity employs basic andinexpensive materials. In each activity you willfind construction diagrams, material and toolslists, and instructions. A brief background sectionwithin the activities elaborates on the conceptscovered in the activities and points back to theintroductory material in the guide. Also included isinformation about where the activity applies toscience and mathematics standards, assessmentideas, and extensions. Look on page 3 for moredetails on how the activity pages are constructed.

    Because many of the activities anddemonstrations apply to more than one subjectarea, a matrix chart identifies opportunities forextended learning experiences. The chartindicates these subject areas by activity title. Inaddition, many of the student activities encourage

    Rockets: An Educator's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology EG-2003-01-108-HO1

  • student problem-solving and cooperativelearning. For example, students can useproblem-solving to come up with ways to improvethe performance of rocket cars. Cooperativelearning is a necessity in the Altitude Trackingand Balloon Staging activities.

    The length of time involved for eachactivity varies according to its degree of difficultyand the development level of the students. Withthe exception of the Project X-35 activity at theguide's end, students can complete mostactivities in one or two class periods.

    Finally, the guide concludes with a glossary ofterms, suggested reading list, NASA educationalresources including electronic resources, and anevaluation questionnaire. We would appreciate

    your assistance in improving this guide in future editionsby completing the questionnaire and makingsuggestions for changes and additions.

    A Note on Measurement

    In developing this guide, metric units ofmeasurement were employed. In a fewexceptions, notably within the "Materials andTools" lists, English units have been listed. In theUnited States, metric-sized parts such as screwsand wood stock are not as accessible as theirEnglish equivalents. Therefore, English unitshave been used to facilitate obtaining requiredmaterials.

    2 40/114Rockets: An Educator's Guide with Activities in Science, Mathematics, and Technology EG-2003-01-108-HQ

  • Activity Format


    Teacher Information

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    Objectives ofthe Activity

    Description of Whatthe Activity Does

    Assessment Ideas


    Materials and ToolsHeavy paper 106110 inew stook orconstnaalen paper)FLOW 30 we len ems,.Student she,Bekchene 80eScissorsEfferwaeng antacid tabletPaper aWaierBYO Wohodlonrhe

    yohnunkhInwh Mohan kw now ealats.

    Tips we ow* tro.. 'no

    What You Need

    Student Instruction Pages


    Wrap and tapea tube ofpaper aroundthe filmcanister. TheId end of thecanister goesdomn1



    Tape fins toyour rocket.

    Roil a cone ot paper andtape It to the rocket'supper end.Tee

    ....s.essehhgal i. faahree row

    RInl =laws cam,Oahe end wale pholoweptd