Foam Rocket

When going for distance, does it make a difference at what angle you launch the rocket? Teams of three launch foam rockets, varying the launch angle and determining how far they flew. After conducting the series of flights three times, the teams determine which angle is the optimal angle to achieve the maximum distance. They finish the exercise by confirming their conclusions.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • After groups launch their rockets and determine distances, have them estimate the angle needed to land a specified distance from the launch site
  • The activity can be repeated over several days with different fin designs each day
Classroom Considerations

  • Rockets should be pre-built for younger students
  • Building the rockets will require more time
Pros

  • The background information explains how these rockets fly
  • The directions and diagrams are clear on the procedure to build the rocket
Cons

  • The rubber band will start to stretch but will not provide the same amount of thrust
Common Core