The sky is the limit, but not quite the finish line. In this course, our young rocket scientists will do the traditional rocket launch. Their engineering skills will then be further tested by applying aerodynamic principles to the ground level. They will attempt to build the longest Coanda Maze possible, such that a stream of air can follow a curved path and extinguish a flame from far away.
This course covers the basic principles of aerodynamic design and the opposing forces at play. Students begin by individually designing, building and testing paper airplanes. They then divide into small teams to repeat this engineering design process with bottle rockets. After their first launch, teams consider what variables they might change to their design before modifying and re-launching their design. The class ends with a series of fun demos and a hands-on activity exploring the Coanda Effect.
Lessons & Activities
The class then steps outside the classroom for the launch! Teams launch their own rockets and use a manual altimeter to measure the maximum altitude reached. When all rockets have been launched, students return to the classroom to modify their designs before stepping back out for a second launch.
“The Coanda Commander”
Applicable Common Core/Next Generation Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
- NGSS-MS-PS2-2: Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
- NGSS-MS-PS2-4: Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
- NGSS-5-PS2-1: Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
- NGSS MS ETS1-3: Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
- NGSS 3-5ETS1-3: Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.