Presenters: Autumn Thigpen and Keli Jacewitz
Name of School: Roosevelt Middle School
Teacher’s Name: Patrick Dennis
Principal’s Name: Marilyn Vrooman
Learning How to Learn
Apoxy glue (amount)
PVC pipe (t-joint, 2 caps, 1” piece, & 2” pieces of pvc pipe)
Manila file folders or posterboard (enough for each student in the class to have one piece)
1 Sprinkler valve
1 Air pump
Altitude finder (enough for each group to have one)
Activity Time Frame
The activity will be completed during five fifty-minute class periods.
The lecture will take place in the classroom.
The lab will be used for the teacher demonstration and rocket launcher construction.
The field behind the school will be used for student demonstrations.
Standard #7- The student will identify the history and evolution of technology techniques,
measurements, and resources.
Standard #8 – The student will apply the technology design process to create useful products
Standard #8.1 – Identify criteria required to determine an effective technology design process.
Standard #8.2 – Apply reasoning, problem solving, imagining, creating, and constructing design
and technology tools.
Standard #9- The student will describe technological advances that enhance science and
mathematics and describe how science and mathematics advance technology.
Standard #10- The student will apply problem solving and critical thinking techniques for
troubleshooting, research and development, invention and innovation, and experimentation, and
implement these strategies as a multi-disciplinary approach.
Standard #18- The student will develop leadership, positive self concepts, and individual
potential in technological society.
The student will be able to:
Describe the basic concepts of aerodynamics and the physics of a rocket launcher.
Build a rocket and launch it.
Compare and contrast different rocket models.
Conceptualize current events related to rockets.
State opinions about the activity.
Utilize the KWL model to guide their learning experience.
Acceleration – The rapid movement of a model rocket during the first seconds of a launch
Aerodynamics – The study of the interaction between air and moving objects.
Body Tube - A specially wound and treated cardboard or plastic cylinder used to make the
fuselage or airframe of a model rocket.
Center of Gravity - The point in a rocket around which its weight is evenly balanced; the point at
which a model rocket will balance on a knife edge.
Drag - When a solid body is moved through a fluid (gas or liquid), the fluid resists the motion.
The object is subjected to an aerodynamic force in a direction opposed to the motion. This force
is called drag.
Fins - The stabilizing and guiding unit of a model rocket; an aerodynamic surface projecting
from the rocket body for the purpose of giving the rocket directional stability.
Lift - An aerodynamic force created by airflow over the wings or fins of an aerospace vehicle.
Liquid fueled rocket – A rocket fueled by liquid.
Nose Cone - The foremost surface of a model rocket, generally tapered in shape to reduce drag,
usually made of balsa or plastic.
Satellite – An object that orbits a planet.
Solid fueled rocket – A rocket propelled by a solid, cylindrical block or grain.
None is required for this lesson.
http://home.earthlink.net/~voraze/rocketry/glossary.html - For vocabulary terms
Pre-read about the physics of a rocket launcher (Appendix 1).
Fill in the What We Know and What We Want to Know portion of the KWL Chart (
All week, the students will search for current events in the news by watching television,
reading the newspaper, or searching the Internet by using search engines such as yahoo or
The students will watch a short clip of the Apollo 13 launch from the movie.
The teacher, fellows, and students will engage in a class discussion about rockets of different
models and how they work.
The student will watch a teacher demonstration of building and launching a rocket and the
calculation of altitude.
The students will take a quiz over the pre-reading and the topics from the class discussion
The students will build a rocket.
The students will launch their rocket and measure the altitude They will record their
observations on their rocket rubric (Appendix 3).
The fellows will help the students complete the What We Learned portion of the KWL Chart
(Appendix 4) and the students will write a 4-5 sentence response to the reflective question
(see Assessment Tools for question).
The activity attitude assessment (Appendix 5) will also be passed out near the end of class for
the students to complete.
A lesson over hydraulics and how they are being used on cars now.
A career discussion, investigation, or field trip on the topic of aeronautics.
Watch the movie October Sky.
The use of the altitude finder will be our technology component in this lesson.
A multiple choice quiz (Appendix 2) over the pre-reading assignment and class
A successful rocket launch will be recorded with a rubric (Appendix 3) by the fellows
and the teacher will give the student a numerical craftsmanship grade (bottom of
On a piece of their own paper, the students will write a reflective paragraph on the
following topic: Examining what you have learned from the rocket launcher lesson, how
do rockets relate to what is currently happening in our world today?
An activity attitude assessment survey (Appendix 5) with questions pertaining to the
students feelings about the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson.
The attitude survey (Appendix 5) with questions pertaining to the students feelings about
the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson.
The KWL Chart (Appendix 4).
Middle School 6-8th grades
50 minute class periods everyday
Lab and classroom set-up
23 computers in the lab
7 computers with Internet
All computers have trebuchet software
Low Socioeconomic status
Low reading capabilities
Language Barrier – We will translate the pre-reading assignment and the quiz.
Low Reading Skills – Abbreviated pre-reading assignment.