Today we began building and testing Straw Rockets. Last year, at the National Science Teachers Association national convention, held here in Boston, I saw this cool rocket launcher from PITSCO. No power or air source is required; the pneumatic force is developed by releasing a weighted drop rod in the cylinder. The force of the launch can be controlled by varying the release height of the rod. We purchased this launcher and now we are testing it out.
Using a straw, scotch tape, modeling clay, and paper, the students built a rocket that had 3 fins and had a mass less than 2.5 grams. Their goal was to launch the rocket from first floor, up over the second floor railing, and into the recycling bucket. the distance is about 35 feet and the height is about 10 feet. The students could vary the angle of launch and the amount of force given to the rocket. All this data was recorded. Students will be working on accomplishing this task during the next couple of science classes. Eli and Bryant were the first, and only, group to get the rocket into the bucket today.