Space Shuttle Ascent: Mass vs. Time

Set the stage for groups of rocket scientists to explore the change in mass of the space shuttle during ascent. Teams work together to graph actual launch data in order to determine the rate of propellent burn.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • If the class is not familiar with putting data into lists in a graphing calculator, provide a brief tutorial
  • Have teams use Table Two to determine the number of objects that would equal the amount of fuel burned during the first ascent stage
Classroom Considerations
  • Each pupil needs access to a calculator
  • The activity comes in two forms: one to use with a graphing calculator or spreadsheet and one to use with a TI Nspire
  • The last set of questions on the worksheet help determine individual understanding of the concept
  • None